(09 January 2000) The latest album featuring a collection of songs by Andy Hill and
Renée Safier is entitled Something Unbroken. With twelve vocally
rich tracks of varying styles penned either by Andy (8), Renée (2) or Larry
and Terry Tutor (2), the stunning album is self-produced and was
self-released. Enthusiasts of
Jennifer Nobel's work with Sojourn and
Grey Eye Glances and
Marianne Marino with
will certainly appreciate Renée's vocal work. They regularly perform
in Redondo Beach at The Blue Moon Saloon, one of our long
standing favourite southern California restaurants.
Both artists have former releases together and individually.
Their earlier release together is entitled
The 14th Of February and is a a ten-song collection that the
duo co-produced. It includes seven Andy Hill originals; the
mood of the album shifts from jazz and pop ballads to guitar-based
rock and roll. In 1998 Renée released They All Laughed with
Bob Malone. The album consists of eleven jazz standards performed by
Renee and Bob Malone, including such classics as "Embraceable You"
and "Our Love Is Here To Stay" by the Gershwins, "I Could Write A
Book" by Rogers and Hart, "Soon It's Gonna Rain" by Tom Jones and
Harvey Schmidt, and Arlen and Mercer's "One For My Baby."
Renée sings lead vocals on half of the new album's
tracks ("Second Story," "After All That's Passed Between Us,"
"Something Unbroken," "Autumn," "Take My Hand" and "When You
Remember Me") while Andy sings lead vocals on the others
("You Chose Me," "The Part Of Me That's Over You," "Two
Trains," "I Already Know," "Before I Go To Sleep" and "The
Eye Of The Beholder"). Renée sings backing vocals on most
of the songs where Andy sings lead. There is a slight country
texture to several of the album's tracks largely achieved
with slide guitar and keyboards.
The album opens with "You Chose Me," a lovely ballad with
light instrumentation with Andy doing vocal lead and Renée on
backing vocals. The album moves to a country sound largely
achieved with a slide guitar and Renée's sweet lead vocals
in the track "Second Story." Renée sings the sensitive
ballad "After All That's Passed Between Us" with mainly piano
accompanying her although a gentle slide guitar adds to the
instrumentation as the song develops. This is clearly the
song to hear Renée's voice most clearly—simply stunning.
Her highly emotional vocal performance of the title track,
"When You Remember Me" and more heavily instrumented "Autumn"
ballads are equally awe inspiring. Renee's lead vocal
performances are mostly done without multi-tracking.
Renée's vocal peformance on "Take My Hand" is warm,
powerful and sensitive. Some light multi-tracking here and
Andy's backing vocal adds to the colour and depth of the
Harmonica and light acoustic guitar provide the gentle
instrumentation for Andy's lead vocal on "Two Trains."
Slide guitar continues to provide a slight country edge
to the song. The highly accessible "The Part Of Me That's
Over You" is a moving almost-country sounding number with
lead sung by Andy. The acoustic guitar perfectly suits
the rock ballad "Before I Go To Sleep" sung by Andy.
Electric guitar excursions add to the colour of the
song. Renée's backing vocals on these two tracks are reminiscent
of an earlier Fleetwood Mac (Stevie Nicks) sound while the
joint vocal performances within the track "I Already Know"
that approach a duet are highly memorable in their own
A certain favourite is the adult contemporary light rock
crossover "The Eye Of The Beholder" that concludes the album
with Andy's lead and Renée's wonderful backing vocals. This
highly accessible track has tremendous instrumentation (with
excellent improvisation in the instrumental that closes the
song) as well as a nice hook.
This latest album by Andy Hill and Renée Safier is a stunning
combination of excellent singing, songwriting and instrumental
performances. Heartfelt lyrics, top notch production, and
professional in every way, the music is excellent and worth
detailed exploration and a journey; it struck us immediately
with its timeless quality—certainly a must listen!