Right Away, Great Captain! – The Church of the Good Thief

Right Away, Great Captain! - The Church of the Good Thief
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What's This?

Right Away, Great Captain! is the solo effort of Manchester Orchestra’s frontman Andy Hull. His third acoustic-driven record The Church Of The Good Thief just made it’s way into our midst. It’s his most mature writing so far, under this moniker, and it has progressed musically as well.

The previous two records, together with this more recent one, are part of a trilogy and tell the heart-wrenching story of a sailor gone out to sea. He comes back only to find that his wife has gone off to be with another man, his own brother. The three albums, in order, tell the story of this sailor and his emotions. It’s like we can feel everything he’s feeling. RA,GC! has always been stamped with honesty and it’s because of Hull’s ability to tell this fictional story in such a real sense.

The first single off the album “Blame” is brutal and is coincidentally how Hull chooses to begin this record. It evokes emotion in the reader and happily isn’t music for the sake of music. Hull wants to convey a message, a story, himself about a “coming home.” He comes back to a life that is familiar but no longer his own and he consequently is a different man. He cries, “…killed my leeches. And the wound that has freed us.” The story only becomes more real as the album continues and the story develops.

There are uptempo moments to this record which is extremely exciting because musically, it is grand, and for such and acoustic-heavy project, it’s nice to have some electric guitar and gang vocals. For instance on the track “Barely Bit Me.” This emotional climax towards the end of the record is powerful, lyrically and musically. Hull pleads for rest, for his restless soul. “I wanted mercy. I wanted proof, like you, that all my chains could break away.” He isn’t the same man that set out to sea so long ago.

The album meets it’s end with high hums in the final few moments of “Memories Of A Shore Pt.2,” much in the same way “Blame” sees its fateful demise. This 5-year endeavor has finally come to a close and Andy Hull remains one of the finest musicians and lyricists out there. He is flexible and fresh with what he creates and one could really not ask for a better, more well-rounded, end to this salty saga.

Christian Turner

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