By: R.J. Moeller
It's not often that you can completely sign-off on something; but when it comes to the music of my friend Andrew Belle, such is the case.
I'm not a music critic, and I don't know the all of the appropriate "industry lingo" to best describe a musician's sound or style, but try this on for size: You will thoroughly enjoy the sounds and lyrics Andrew Belle has created.
His newly-released album, The Ladder, is really good. Your ears will thank you.
I met Andrew (we just say "Drew") in college, in the back of a mind-numbingly boring Marketing class. Our casual acquaintance took its first significant step towards becoming a long-lasting friendship when during one night class, after our professor had taken away the copy of Rolling Stone Andrew was reading instead of listening to a lecture on "group-think" (or some such nonsense), I stealthily crept up to the desk the prof had laid it on and re-claimed it for the "good guys." On top of being a bonding experience between us, it was the initial signal I picked up on that this kid loved music more than anything.
What started out as passion for playing music has turned in to a career for Andrew Belle. From the student union at our alma mater Taylor University in Indiana, to opening for Ben Folds in Seattle, to rocking the Rockit Bar in Chicago, Andrew has been honing his craft and wowing crowds for the past 5 years.
Now I could go on and on, telling you all about the various exciting opportunities and awards and big breaks that have come Andrew Belle's way since embarking upon this musical journey he's on, but ultimately, if you're anything like me, you really just want to hear the music and judge for yourself.
As I said, his latest effort, The Ladder, came out this week and debuted at #28 on iTunes (#1 in the singer/song-writer category). He is currently on a tour of college campuses all over the country, having just recently finished up with the Ten out of Tenn Tour out of Nashville. This past fall Andrew won MTV's Best Breakout Chicago Artist of 2009 award, and has had his music featured on the E!, MTV and CW networks.
Listen to his song "Static Waves", and try to not love what you hear. I dare you.
For parents and grandparents reading this, buy this album for the young people in your life. Support a musician who believes in the same values expressed on this blog. Help further the career of someone who is grounded in eternal truths, and isn't blindly driven or motivated by the same things that drive and motivate the overwhelming majority of musicians and entertainers. We can speak with our pocketbooks and send a message to the entertainment industry that substance, style, and traditional values aren't mutually exclusive things.
For the rest of you, buy The Ladder because it is good. Think of the things you waste $6 on every week...now think of a lifetime of iPod enjoyment the purchase of this album will bring you.
I love my friend Andrew Belle and I love his music. Even if you never get to know the man, know his music, enjoy his talent, and share in his passion.