As someone who has followed Andy White since the early politically-fuelled Rave On, taken as a whole I've often found his output during a career spanning almost 30 years now maddeningly inconsistent. Each successive album he has released across a contained sprinkling of gems, with magical tunes and never less than captivating lyrics. But there has also been a good deal of filler on some releases, and for a time he seemed to have lost his mojo entirely. When I saw him play a typically low-key gig in London a few years back, the audience could be counted in tens rather than hundreds, and I feared he was facing a future of inexorable decline and that he would never get the recognition his undoubted talent deserved.
I'm delighted - and maybe a bit surprised - that this album marks a significant return to form. Prompted by the unfortunate break-down of this marriage 'How Things Are' contains sone of the most heartfelt and affecting sings he's released since those early days: 'Separatiom Street', 'Band of Gold', 'All iIt Does is Rain' and 'Everyone's in Love' are as good as anything he's ever released, and the collection as a whole provides a rewarding - and occasionally sobering - reflection on love lived and lost. Highly recommended and hopefully a chance for more people to get to know this hugely gifted artist.