Andrew Reed’s newest album comes from a personal place, but thematically, it doesn’t at all touch on themes that would be foreign to anybody. It’s simply about life’s journey. Having experienced such tough, rough patches in his time on earth like the rest of us, the Asheville singer-songwriter thought it best to gear up for 2018 with a collection of songs that celebrates embracing an enthusiastic, optimistic outlook regardless of what bad tidings are sent our way. If All the World Were Right brings as much rejuvenating sunshine to listener’s ears as one might expect after this introduction, but it does so with a predisposed weariness that sets it within realistic means, and with one heck of a band to top things off.
It all plays off breezily, with a calm simplicity to Reed and company’s delivery that might expose itself as superficial at first. Yet, that’s only when one doesn’t dive past the surface layer of what the artist was trying to accomplish when delivering this set of songs to his audience. Reed is fully aware that the world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and despite the swinging outlook that he seems to establish here, he does so having already come back from a place that wasn’t as radiant or kind. This isn’t a saccharine sort of celebration, but one rooted in his intent to heal himself, and remove his own being from the darkness that can collectively tug us all down.
What stands between his optimistic music and, say, ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’, is this self-awareness. Paired alongside it is Reed’s own selflessness, culminating in one final poem as he closes out his album with the titular and hopeful ‘All the World is Right’. The Chicago-esque infusions of jazz and rock stylings that he brings so liberally to the table on this album indeed usher in the sunshine, and that in itself is refreshing. Yet, it’s in Reed’s intent to elevate the world along with him following our times spent out in the cold that he really sells this easygoing, lushly-developed work of beauty from start to finish.