Album Review: Tall Tales and the Silver Lining, ‘Tightropes’
When Ryan Adams’ self-titled LP hit record stores last year, critics and fans alike noted the singer-songwriter’s innate ability to hearken memories of ‘70s and ‘80s rock and roll. On Tall Tales and the Silver Lining’s latest record, Tightropes, frontman and mastermind Trevor Beld Jimenez strives -- and succeeds -- to take ownership of those accolades. Growing up in the '70s and listening to the sounds that emanated from his AM radio, Beld Jimenez's childhood influences ring true, evoking the past while firmly settling into Tall Tales and the Silver Lining's own compelling future.
Packed with 10 tracks of pristine and ardent musical arrangements, Tightropes finds Beld Jimenez and company (a cast of characters that includes 16 different musicians and vocalists in the record's liner notes) belting out extraordinarily catchy hooks throughout.
Lyrics like, "Hey brother when I knew you well / You were living in hell ... Are you afraid to love again / Are you afraid to love again," find Beld Jimenez battling back and forth with relationships, covering life's full spectrum with love on one end and loss on the other.
The band addresses the brighter side of things on tracks like "Both Alive," which features Beld Jimenez bearing his heart: "No I don't mind it 'cause she fills my empty cup / She finds me lost and gives a dying kiss for luck / She leaves us both alive."
And even during the more somber moments of the LP, he has a unique way of tinging despair with a bit of hope, like on the hauntingly beautiful closer, "Losing It": "Late last night on an open road / Where the wind blows through your hair / We was talking about the past / And all the friends who've come and gone / And lost themselves out there / Where the years go by too fast / But I ain't losin' it / No, nothing's gonna change."
With less than 2,000 Facebook fans and under 200 Twitter followers, it would be easy to miss Tightropes in our constantly saturated world of music, but we feel confident telling you that this should find its way to your turntable immediately. With hints of Ben Gibbard and the Shins melded with Tom Petty and Jackson Browne, the band has designed a flawlessly modern indie-folk-rock record from front to back.
Flipping through radio stations today, we can only hope some young kid hears this music and finds inspiration in the sounds flowing from Tall Tales and the Silver Lining.