Andrew Chen
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Andrew Chen

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Band Pop R&B

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"Rave Magazine CD Review"

Andrew Chen - You Just Might
(independent)
Written, produced and starring....



Andrew Chen is a 19 year-old Brisbane bedroom R&B/pop producer and multi-instrumentalist. You Just Might is his completely self-produced and released debut album.

The record is a collection of feel-good anthems that show off Chen's soulful tenor, which he deftly layers in gorgeous harmony, crooning, rapping and reaching to libidinous falsettos. Unfortunately, the faux bass growls on Higher come across as a Cookie Monster caricature, but are none the less impressive from the small-framed singer. That he also plays every drum hit, guitar chord, funk bass line, synth stab, violin swell and organ twinkle on the record is amazing.

The arrangements are sparing, the mixes smooth, and Chen's knack for melody gives every song an emotive punch. It's a little cheesy (especially the electric guitar tones) but that's more a reflection of Chen's relative youth than anything else.

Ultimately, he's managed to produce a large body of consistently good work, and that point overshadows any stylistic quibbles. If I worked in A&R, I'd be jerking off in my chequebook right now. - Jakeb Smith, Rave Magazine


"AlbumOfTheWeek CD Review"

Bedroom musician Andrew Chen sent Album of The Week his EP "You Just Might" that he released entirely independently a while back, and until recently we hadn't really given it due props. This dude writes the songs, sings the words, plays guitars, bass, keys, synths, drums, makes the beats and performs the samples all on his lonesome lone. Boyfriend got a bit of free time on his hands. But clever hands they are.

This record is a nice little slice of neo-soul, r & b goodness direct from Andrew's boudoir studio straight to your ears. These tunes are definitely an acquired taste - so tune out now if R. Kelly ain't your thing. He starts off with a nice, under-the-moonlight Nineties-style r & b track "You Just Might" - very "soulful crooner's gonna get laid tonight missus" type shit. The second tune, the groove-driven "Come On Down" wears an obvious heart-on-sleeve Michael Jackson Off The Wall-era influence. You could definitely hear Usher (dance man, pants man and all round beefcake) singing it. This stuff is good finger clicking stuff, people.

Our favourite song on the album is "Higher" - a neo-soul pants dropper that reeks of D'Angelo's best known track "Untitled" - the one which had that epic shirtless, pantsless, throbbing groin muscle music vid? He also pulls out some throaty Tom Waits style croaking on the lower register which is pretty awesome too. This guy has genuine songwriting talent - the stuff gets in your head and you can sing along to it almost immediately. So there's a few typically embarrassing r & b moments: "Stranger Girl" and "Fall Behind" are kind of gross - cliched romantic balladry with over-earnest 'love hurts' lyrics, and the first few tracks are infinitely more interesting than the second half of the EP, but Justin Timberlake would definitely sing this stuff. PS JT is cool. Andrew Chen will soon be discovered and be attending Puffy's White Party in a couple of years and that is pretty freaking cool. - AlbumOfTheWeek


"Scene Magazine CD Review"

Much has changed for Andrew Chen in the short time since the release of this, his debut EP. The Intentions are now his favoured avenue for artistic outlet, and while many of the songs in this extended player would feature on the set list, they're usually beefed up and give the full arrangement. Here, it's just Andrew, his computer and plenty of passion as he pumps out eight tracks heavily grounded in engaging soul and loose-limbed R&B. There's a classic feel to Chen's songwriting and arrangements that brings to mind Lewis Taylor of maybe even Donny Hathaway. The title track Harlem Shuffles effectively before busting into some satisfying guitar crunch, while the most impressive cut here is the slow-burning 'Fall Behind', which seems to take Chen's talent to a whole new level. A very strong little debut. - Matt Shea, Scene Magazine


"Rave Magazine Live Review"

The room is close to capacity when The Intentions take to the stage oozing confidence and enthusiasm. Dressed to kill, they waste no time in calling the audience to 'Come On Down' and get the party started. With his hyperactive backup singers, Andrew Chen starts on a high and keeps his spirit there throughout the night. The guitarist, after struggling to find his groove in the opening number, shows us some seriously tasty licks in The Escape - a ballad that builds up to a dramatic climax. 'Morning Rain' sees Drew on an acoustic guitar fronting a band that is seriously trying to keep up. His relentlessly soulful, near-perfect voice soars high above the Globe's slope of mesmerized punters.

Next up, The Intention's groovetrain pulls in to Soul Central with 'Higher', winning this tough crowd over. Gone are the wall of complex arrangements and unnecessary trimmings - and the audience laps up the simple groove on the dancefloor. This is by far the best performance of the night, especially with all the vocals working with, not against, each other. Drew & the Intentions is what happens when you cross Babyface with Nina Simone, with a bit of Joss Stone & Sly Stone thrown in. The punters finally give in to the music of The Intentions on the last epic song, 'Love 2 U' coupled with Just My Imagination & Everyday People.

Eventhough often times you can literally see the nerves on stage, and the level of tightness required for the show isn't quite there yet, the frontman's classy Prince-like theatrics make it all worthwhile. For me, the Motown-esque moments feel most natural and comfortable, but it's clear that they want a lot more than that. This ambitious project is a reminder that there's good deeds and there's good Intentions, and there's a lot of steps in-between!
- Peter B, Rave Magazine


Discography

EP's: You Just Might (Sept 2010)

Photos

Bio

Fresh on Brisbane's R&B scene and armed with his soul-baring, bedroom-produced EP, You Just Might, Melbourne-born muso Andrew Chen is bursting to take to the stage. Appearing with The Intentions, his 6-piece band of electrifying gypsy soul, electro, jazz and prog musicians, their set has been described as "urban, slick, theatrical and wholly embracing."

The EP, ranging from the intensely confessional opener ‘You Just Might,' the upbeat party-funk of ‘Come On Down,' and the frisky puppy-like exuberance of crowd favorite 'Higher' openly showcases a still-developing artist with that constant urge to experiment and stretch beyond his teen years. Andrew independently wrote, engineered and mixed all the tracks, playing all the instruments and recording it DIY style in his bedroom on his laptop.

A variety of live setups including acoustic shows (Queen St Mall, Barsoma, Music Kafe) have been successful in the past, along with full band shows (The Zoo, The Globe Theater), and festival gigs (Mosaic Music Festival, Caxton Street Festival). Andrew has also appeared at various festivals including the Caxton Street Festival, and also had features and interviews with mX, Time Off, Rave, Scene as well as several Radio spots on 4ZzZ and Switch1197AM. He is now booking shows for 2010 with his new band, The Intentions!