Sea Of Approval is Andy Bull’s first solo release since his 2010 EP, Phantom Pains,and is a definite departure from his earlier and friendlier folky lean on alt-pop. Andy Bull fans, prepare yourselves for distorted vocals and gurgling synths.

As expected, Bull doesn’t fail to produce some beat-driven and highly contagious hits like ‘Talk Too Much’ and ‘Keep On Running’. But Sea Of Approval is both self-absorbed and self-deprecating (“Baby I’m once in a lifetime, baby I am nobody now). Things go awry when Bull decides to throw in ‘Something, I Guess’, a song which, very possibly, will only satisfy those who like their vocal echoes increased to hymnal levels.

 

The singer-songwriter, in a move towards a more modern sound, takes a slight R&B detour on ‘The Hill’, with jolts that are sure to induce some hip-flicking. ‘Nothing Is Wrong’ is an easy album standout: it boasts Bull’s vocal versatility and effortlessly combines an all-consuming chorus with synth reveries and smooth piano build-ups and fillers.

 

Sea Of Approval sees Andy Bull flirt with a more galactic variant of pop, but what remains timeless is his unfaltering and unique voice.

 

3/5.

Sea Of Approval will be released on Friday July 11 through Universal.

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