Burgeoning Playwright Henry Smith has reviewed the album thus;
"I LOVE THIS RECORD. It's an intoxicating infusion of all the sounds I like to hear when I'm harpooned with melancholy. This is the very thing. I think comparisons can be useful; this is Suede meets Scott 4. I could listen to it in an ice cream parlour or crashing some dainty car! It's a veritable Tannhauser!"
Brereton Evans from Birmingham has reviewed the album;
"Andy Vargo has always been a musician to produce work of the highest quality. From his early days in the pioneering Soft Asylum, through the soulful days of Kohesion up to his more recent solo offerings. However, on 'The Outsider' his first solo album proper, there is even greater depth and maturity that manages to surpass the fine quality of his earlier work.
From the opening track 'Tear Me Apart' you can sense the confidence of a musician who is becoming a master of his craft. The voice has never sounded better. The first track opens with what sounds like several balalaikas playing in some far flung Ukrainian village before resorting to a more western feel with a haunting harmonica. The track is incredibly catchy without being annoying. It builds steadily to its final crescendo with Andy emitting growls that give the impression that he is literally tearing himself apart. As the title of the album suggests there is a common thread of alienation and despair that permeates throughout all the songs. In 'Feel the Pain', an out and out rocker of the highest order, the protagonist is a world weary rock star, despairing of his life on the road and the constant need to make an exhibit of himself for his audience. In the title track, a six minute metaphysical masterpiece, the protagonist is a modern absurdist man, a la Albert Camus, on the outside looking through the window at a world he doesn’t belong to. The irony is that although those on the insides lives on the surface seem pleasant enough they are actually mundane in the extreme. The difference is that unlike the ‘Outsider’ they are ignorant of the futility of their existence. There is one poignant moment in the song where a woman on the inside makes eye contact with the ‘Outsider’ and for a brief moment their lives connect, she seems to sense the full reality of this existence and is consequently tearful. Even the two cover songs are superbly chosen to continue the feeling of alienation. Lennon’s ‘Working Class Hero’ is well known and needs no explanation here but there is also ‘Nothin' At All’ by up and coming songwriter Ian Rooke. This is one of the finest songs on the album. It continues the theme of despair with the protagonist rounding on those who have brought him to this state, accusing them of being traitorous by comparing them to the Pharisees that condemned Jesus to his fate. However, there is no resurrection to be had here, just abject failure. It ends with a wonderfully mournful guitar solo played by the songwriter. Despite the themes of alienation and despair, the album does not leave one feeling depressed but instead has a cathartic effect, mainly through the uplifting beauty of the music and powerful expressive vocals. All in all, an incredible album."
John Sloan from Italy also rates the album, initially he contacted Andy to say "I am listening to your CD all the time. I'm gonna say this about a fellow musician for the first time; you have the unique power to make me incredibly sad - sweet - tearful with your wonders .... I am playing the track 'Boy' over and over and over".
John Sloan then went onto to review the CD " Andy has been my number one love song pusher for years and the Outsider is my latest, essential fix. He just pushes all the right buttons with me. 'Boy' had me on the ropes, then 'Perfect Girl' knocked me back into that soft, beautiful place I yearn for while lost in today's soul-less wilderness. It would be an honour to work with him one day..it would be amazing if a few of his secrets were unveiled"
John Sloan is the Lead Singer of 'Rope' (Italy based recording artists)
Musician Nigel Donley wrote; "Having listened to Andy Vargo’s latest album countless
times I have come to the conclusion that having been an insider at the time of its creation was a very worthwhile place to have been. In the studio listening to bars and phrases out of context I had no inkling then of what was actually in motion. Now I know.
'Boy' possesses a brooding melancholia, it's a one way mirror of personal isolation, fear
and alienation, evoking almost a feeling of being in the same world but on a different planet, This soul scar laid bare leaves the listener uneasy and unsure in their own skin. Juxtaposed to this black pearl is a track that embodies hope, all be it a Rock and Roll kind of hope. 'Feel the Pain' is a cherry bomb of a song fuelled by vitriolic acerbity and aimed squarely at anyone crazy enough to get in the way. 'Perfect Girl' is very nearly the perfect love song and features some exquisite vocals by chanteuse Lindsey Thompson. The album draws to a close with two tracks that are lyrically similar 'It's gonna be Someday' and 'Tomorrow' both songs are amongst the very best here, and are a fitting close to the work."
Wally Hyde - independent Producer from London said "The Outsider CD is an outstanding piece of work, the sort of album that arguably the bigger label artists only occasionally have the balls and belief to release…that Andy has mnaged to produce a work of this quality and on this scale with limited resources is testament to a most singular determination and vision."
Journalist Mick Tait from Wolverhampton wrote "The Outsider is a a apt title for an album from an untypical performer. Andy effortlessly moves from the feral Stooges stomp of 'Feel The Pain' to the soft vulnerable tender ballads of 'Perfect Girl' 'Little One' and 'Boy'. His layered version of John Lennon's anthem 'Working Class Hero' shows a kind of controlled agression and real heart befitting the song. It sits well next to his own composition about an aspiring heroine namely 'The People In The Magazines.' both these songs are very different but with a similar message. 'Magazines' is my personal fave with its stand out lyric, killer chorus and an elegant pure pop sheen that a band like say The Human League would die for. The broad instrumentation used, including mandolin, harmonica, acoustic guitars, bass guitar, drums and drum machine also make this album a captivating, varied and enthralling listen. It is topped off with what can only be described as THE VOICE. Andy’s striking and powerful voice is at times spine chilling and emotional with a soulful vulnerable quality. It ranges all the way from a Scott Walker type introspection to a swaggering Iggy Pop raw rock style. With the time and effort that Andy has obviously lavished into the making of this album and the sheer quality of the finished result, it is wholly deserving of an even wider recognition. Using the title of one of the albums many many great songs, 'It's Gonna Be Someday' will surely come to pass."
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