Andrew Farstar – Spotify Singles – Singles Review
Got a handful of some of the latest cuts from Andrew Farstar here in review today – it’s been a while! Not too long…we’ve had him on these pages a couple times over the past years in review – and from what I can see out there online, he’s been plenty active in between the last time we featured his music here at SBS and now, releasing a whole bunch of singles throughout 2018, eventually taking it all even further with the release of his new full-length record Hymns & Inspiration this year in 2019. I mean, honestly, if we tried to keep up with the amount of music this dude’s capable of creating, you’d probably see Farstar’s name on this page every single week if not daily…he’s always up to something good and likely not too often to be found without a microphone in his hand, singing his way through life.
The consistent quality and smooth sound that’s been a signature part of his music for years now, is certainly still intact here on these new songs. It’s always interesting to hear what the people’s reaction to music can be, or see what the hit-counts could potentially tell ya…according to my notes here, Andrew Farstar’s cover/remix of John O’Banion’s “I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love (Remix)” is his most popular cut out there online to-date. Personally…and keep in mind, obviously the numbers are against me here…but personally, I think I actually dig the other two singles I’ve got here even more. I’m definitely not knocking anyone’s choice in selecting “I Don’t Want To Love Your Love (Remix)” as their number one of Farstar’s set – we all like what we like, and aside from that, he’s done just as exceptional of a job in performing that song as you’d expect from a man made of music such as he is. As in, there’s no taking any points away for what you’ll hear when it comes to performance or production – both aspects are always completely in-line…which really only leaves you with personal taste & opinions to separate what you’ll like from what you’ll love. For those out there that dig their Adult Contemporary, light Pop, or Easy Listening tunes, Farstar is ready to supply ya with a whole bunch of gentle & serene sounds in this set of singles – “I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love (Remix)” will bring back a really sweet song that you may/may-not realize you know, but you’ve likely heard many, many times. Andrew puts in a quality performance on the mic, getting the emotion & sincerity the words needed into his vocals and bringing that mix of melancholy-sweetness right to the surface for all to hear on his cover of O’Banion’s timeless tune…great piano, solid guitar solo…Farstar remains the main focus in the center of the spotlight throughout this song, but it’s a place he’s earned himself the right to be in for the effort. Not just the effort on a single like “I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love (Remix)” – I’m talking about his overall career and the music he makes; whether his genres are your jam or not, he always puts in an admirable performance that reveals heart, passion, sincerity, emotion, and a genuine love of the craft.
I’m just saying, it was surprising to learn that the number-one tune in Farstar’s catalog somehow wasn’t his cover of “Top Of The World” by The Carpenters – because this is pure genius and captures one of the most magical & inspired songs I’ve heard from Andrew & his vocals to-date. To frame this properly in context for you, so that you fully understand just HOW WELL this goes for Farstar, let me fill you in. “Top Of The World,” is redone, revamped, and revitalized here – it’s covered in a combination of Swing & Big Band styles…which, to say the least, are two genres that are almost never my jam. That being said – not everyone can do what Farstar does…not every artist out there can bring such an interpretation to life like this and produce such an inspired twist on such a classic & beloved tune – and he deserves serious credit for really finding an incredible new way to make this good old song shiny and new again. So for myself personally, to discover just how much I ended up loving this tune, despite its disadvantage genre-wise for what I normally gravitate to, was one of the most fantastic surprises in this entire set of singles. Like there’s just zero-doubt at all about my feelings towards Farstar’s version of “Top Of The World” – I absolutely LOVE what he’s accomplished here with this. The vocals are excellent, all-around, delivering on a perfect jazzy-melody and pure sweetness in Andrew’s cadence & tone, the bass-lines are awesome (sounds like a stand-up bass – gotta love it!), the backing vocals are essential, the piano is full of lively personality, the guitars shine with their accenting notes floating into the mix…it’s truly a moment in time where everything comes together comfortably, like all the pieces of a puzzle snapping right into place where they belong. It does also speak to the incredible writing of The Carpenters as well of course, whose songs have been covered by many throughout the years, in all kinds of different styles, proving just how much crossover potential and possibility has always lived inside of their material. Andrew does an exceptional job of making “Top Of The World” in a version that suits his strengths spot-on – honestly, I’m 100% stoked about how this single turned out from beginning to end. It’s charming, it’s flashy, it’s beautiful – & perhaps above all things, it’s genuinely FUN…this tune is blissfully accessible.
A track like Andrew’s cover of Brian Hyland’s “Sealed With A Kiss” is probably the song I would have normally come out with as my number-one favorite from the set in most cases…again, the fact that just by a slight margin, I’d choose “Top Of The World” this time around speaks to just how strong that crossover sound was brought-out by Farstar on his version. No points to be taken away from “Sealed With A Kiss” though either when it comes right down to it – I love the guitars and atmosphere in the vibe of this light & dreamy bossanova-esque melody…everything you’ll hear from the music to the microphone is a perfect match to the energy & vibe he was going for in this stripped-down & subtle variation of “Sealed With A Kiss.” I’m not saying it was any kind of rambunctious tune to begin with in its original version or subsequent covers throughout history – but Andrew’s gone extra low-key and kept this single in perfectly smooth control at all times. The gentle & curious sound of “Sealed With A Kiss” blends beautiful melody with just the right hint of mystery floating in on the wind throughout this song – it’s the kind of slow-tune that genuinely pulls you in close to listen, because everything has exquisite texture & tone that continually beckons you to hear every detail through the brilliant clarity of the mix. Between the Beatles-esque sound that comes in with the harmonies, the captivating performance Andrew puts in through the lead-vocals, and the remarkably fluid & smooth sounds of the music alongside him – it’s honestly tough to choose just which element of “Sealed With A Kiss” would stand out the most…the percussion & piano add equal doses of charm to the personality of this song as well! Everything is subtle & laidback – yet it all stands-out magnificently…Farstar’s pulled off an excellent performance that raises the level of interest you’d normally associate with a slower song – it’d be super hard to take your ears off of what you’ll hear on “Sealed With A Kiss” & I wouldn’t recommend resisting.
Solid job on this set of singles all-around from Andrew Farstar…the connection to music runs strong in this guy and it always comes out spectacularly through his music in ways you can genuinely appreciate.
Listen to music by Andrew Farstar at his official page at Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4VNIES74VX9mO2lcX0F29z