As iTunes and file sharing have dissolved the eras of music, where fans now listen to tracks from the fifties as easily as brand-new pieces, artists of yesteryear are getting serious reappraisals & revivals. Take Sixto Rodriguez, who was reborn thanks to the documentary Searching For Sugar Man. Andy Kim penned and performed some hits in the late sixties, most notably “Sugar, Sugar”, but always shied away from the spotlight, even releasing under the pseudonym ‘Baron Longfellow’ for a time. But everything comes back around, and now he delivers It’s Decided, working with Broken Social Scene (QRO spotlight on) frontman Kevin Drew.
For an artist from the past, It’s Decided decidedly does not feel like it is steeped in the history books, but rather quite fresh. Kim is intimate and touching without going overboard on songs such as “Sister O.K.”, “Shoot ‘Em Up, Baby”, and “Forest Green”. However, there are also modern enveloping effects that Drew no doubt brought to the table, like the swirling & airy “Longest Time”, or the based-on-an-old-BSS-song “Who Came First” to close.
It’s Decided could be billed as a reinvention or revival, but it doesn’t have that needy feeling such projects as those often do. Instead, it is a self-assured record from a great artist who never lost his voice – you just are listening again.