released August 3rd. 2010

from the album - Where Would We Go?

from all music

Guitarist and songwriter Rusty Anderson is a musician who has balanced a well-respected career on his own with a very successful part-time gig as a sideman and studio musician, which has seen him work with everyone from Paul McCartney to Neil Diamond. Rusty Anderson grew up in La Habra, CA, and in the mid-'70s formed his first band, a hard rock outfit called Eulogy, when he was only 13. Eulogy won a sizable local following and earned an audition with Arista Records head Clive Davis, but the band was never signed and broke up without releasing a recording. Anderson soon formed a new band, the Living Daylights, which gave him a greater opportunity to indulge his fondness for offbeat psychedelic and progressive rock; while the Living Daylights also failed to break into the big time, a copy of their demo tape made its way to producer David Kahne, who was impressed with Anderson's guitar skills and invited him to contribute some solos to an album he was producing for the Bangles, 1986's Different Light.

Anderson continued to work as a session musician while pursuing his own projects; he was briefly a member of Animal Logic, a short-lived supergroup featuring former Police drummer Stewart Copeland and Return to Forever bassist Stanley Clarke, and later was guitarist and songwriter with the alternative rock band Ednaswap, who released three albums between 1995 and 1998, but received their greatest success through another artist when Natalie Imbruglia scored an international hit with the song "Torn," originally recorded by Ednaswap on their album Wacko Magneto. In 1999, Ednaswap broke up, the same year that Anderson once again found himself being heard all around the world through someone else's record when he contributed the guitar solo to Ricky Martin's breakthrough hit "Livin' la Vida Loca."

But Anderson's biggest break came in 2001, when he was invited to play guitar on Paul McCartney's album Driving Rain and subsequently signed on as a guitarist with McCartney's road band for his world tour, which was documented on the albums Back in the U.S. and Back in the World. Anderson later appeared on McCartney's 2005 release Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, and again joined the ex-Beatle for his subsequent road work. In 2003, Anderson finally released his first solo album, Undressing Underwater, which featured contributions from McCartney, Stewart Copeland, David Kahne, and a number of other musicians who'd worked with him over the years. Anderson continued to be an in-demand guitar player, and it was seven years before he released his sophomore album, Born on Earth, in 2010.

album review

Rusty Anderson has played in a handful of bands over the years (most notably Ednaswap and Animal Logic), but he's best known as a sideman and a session musician, having worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Santana, and Jewel. On his first solo album, Undressing Underwater, Anderson was able to call in a few favors and persuade a few of his former employers (most notably McCartney and Stuart Copeland) to help him out. But Anderson's second effort, 2010's Born on Earth, demonstrates that he doesn't need marquee names to make a worthwhile album. Born on Earth follows the same path as Undressing Underwater, which is to say it's all over the map you get pop tunes decorated by both strings and big roaring guitars (the title cut), grandiose orchestral pop melodies ("Baggage Claim"), easygoing bachelor pad grooves ("Julia Roberts"), electric grooves bolstered by Auto-Tuned vocals and vintage synthesizers ("Funky Birthday Cake"), introspective folk-pop ("Where Would We Go?"), and not readily classifiable instrumental thundering ( "Intro"). The common threads between these 11 songs are Anderson's sure hand with a melody, his witty and slightly off-kilter lyrical perspective, and his considerable gifts as a player. Anderson's guitar solos sound both passionate and intelligently constructed on these sessions, and he handles an impressive share of the additional accompaniment himself, while the extra hands on deck show that he has learned a few valuable things about choosing sidemen. Born on Earth is canny, intelligent music with a rocker's sense of drama and brawn sitting side by side with a popmeister's knack for the clever hook and smart lyrical conceit; it's fun music that never slights your intelligence or your appetite for the grand gesture.

Track Listing

1 Born on Earth Huxley 4:40
2 Timed Exposure Kallas 4:05
3 Baggage Claim 4:37
4 Private Moon Flower 4:31
5 Julia Roberts Lawhead 4:20
6 Under a White Star McCleod 4:10
7 Where Would We Go? 4:01
8 New Beginning 4:01
9 These Are the Days 3:48
10 Funky Birthday Cake 3:18
11 Intro 2:21