Constantly, Andrea addresses the paradox of movement. "I am
lost/Are you ever coming back again?/Does the road that you're on just stretch
on and on?" she sings in "Leaves Of October." Yes, October acts as a metaphor
of change, but Andrea shifts the perspective dearly in the final verse, singing,
"Are you lost?/Are you ever coming back again?" So who is really moving from or
The conflict of emotional inertia is nowhere as evident as in "Broken Heart,"
where "You can't take the sun down with you" and "You can't stop the earth's
rotations." And because of such hopelessness, how we all long not to linger in
the bittersweet remnants of life, to plea, "Free me from this broken heart/Pull
the last stitch apart/And send me reeling in the void to rise up a new." And
always, Andrea's voice in these songs is clearly aware of the conflicting energies.
Why else would she answer her own question in "Don't You Still Want Me?" by singing
"No" in the same, painfully conscious, less-than-sanguine breath?
Andrea does not sing here for want of empathy or sympathy, but to assure us that
the movement of it all and to defy it is natural and we all share what time
leaves in its path, though we are not always responsible for what we take with us,
for better or worse. "Until I find a way around you I am bound to you," from
"It's In The Way," a title with an obvious dual meaning, is one more situation
of the desire to run in place, so to speak, because there is something comforting
in the energy to do so. Even the piano solo here sounds joyfully bound while
restless at the same time.
Andrea Perry delivers this message directly to our hearts.
"Take Me Where The Lions Roar" is another plea to accept escape, due to being
"trapped behind these city walls," which are, of course, the same walls that
would be a blessing to fly over, as the opening song suggests. But where the
lions roar is also "where the vipers feed" and so on. Is that a better place
to be taken? Not to go, to be taken. And after all, as in "Never Knew," Andrea
sings, "I thought I was gone/I had to go on" to "Find a place on the map."
In "Reservoir," she is "floating through the deep," yet she is planted almost
defiantly in "Let's Not Go Out Tonight," arguably the most melodic of the 14
songs, wanting to "let the world rush by outside." In "Soul Cries" she wishes
for someone or something to "wisk me away," and in "Wasting Away" she sings,
"Keep me from tumbling right out of this world." Andrea's songs are on the
precipice, in that fleeting moment before taking the next step, already
mourning the necessity to move on.
All great artists recognize the futile battle with time and space, which can
only offer, with delicacy, rare moments of meaning. And all artists try to
capture the essence of such magic, asking, "Stay with me through this little
time." Because, perhaps, there is no other way to survive peacefully in the
endless current of the rivers of stars. Andrea Perry delivers this message
directly to our hearts in this CD, which is flawlessly arranged and produced
by her, with subtle yet defined drums from Chris Searles and lyrics by Andrea
and, on a four tracks, by S.D. Lishan.
Andrea notes that the title tune was inspired by an episode in Carl Sagan's
"Cosmos" series. That is especially suitable, since Mr. Sagan said,
"Who are we? We live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a
galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of the universe in which there are
far more galaxies than people." Making it all the more important, as Andrea's
new CD suggests, for each of us to be sure to fill our small reservoirs with
And, as the haunting repetition of the signal sent out into space closes the
title track and the CD, we are left to recognize that signal as a heartbeat
that calls out relentlessly with hope, though still has not been answered.
Andrea Perry's newest work, a CD called Rivers Of Stars, is stunning,
to say the least. You can listen to some samples from the CD by clicking here.
Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme
Chronicles, every Thursday starting at 9 pm on Network 1KX.