Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Album Review: What Am I? by Tim Loud

Tim Loud is an acoustic/punk/country/blues singer from Leeds. This week he releases his new album What Am I? on Aaahh!!! Real Records. Lately I've been sending all of the acoustic albums towards Emma but after listening to What Am I? I knew it's one that I had review myself.

The first song on What Am I? contains a very naughty word in the title. I know that Emma's mum reads these so I feel the need to apologise straight away. The opening song on What Am I? is titled I Don't Care What Everybody Else Says About You, I Think You're A Cunt. (Sorry Mama Prew!) It's a song about staying who you are and not changing with whatever is currently fashionable. It's a fast paced and catchy song that will immediately be imprinted in your brain. There are some nice surprises throughout the song including a parody of Billy Bragg's A New England and some horns that add an extra piece of liveliness to the track, not that it really needed it. The first part of No Fight slows the pace down somewhat before bursting into life during its second half. It's a country tune that displays a nice amount of range in Loud's vocal. There is a fantastic repetitive drum beat throughout the song that make the song a real foot stomper. It sees Tim Loud display a bluesy side to his music. It's slow and methodical and does a fantastic job of grabbing your attention. The electric guitar comes out to play during the track and really helps add to the darker mood of the song.

Nothing has you hooked from the start with a fun blast of harmonica and another incredibly catchy chorus of "Ain't Got Nothing, Ain't Got Something For Me, Ain't Got Nothing, Oh You Don't Get Nothing For Free." Instantly sing-along-able. I really enjoyed the harmonica solo midway through the track that leads into some more crunching electric guitar. This does a wonderful job breaking up the song. Threw It All Away is slightly more conventional than the previous couple of tracks. On this song Loud returns to his country style that he does so fantastically well. The melody in his voice is great and really helped me get into the song, as I type this I'm swaying along to the track. After a few listens of Threw It All Away I noticed that the melody of the vocals is different to the melody of the guitar. I'm no musician but I imagine it's quite tricky to play one melody and sing another. Tim Loud clearly has a lot of ability. Recently Tim released a hilarious music video for the next song, That's Life. That's Life is about trying to look on the positive side of life no matter how bad things can get. The tempo of the song is upped which gives the song more of an upbeat feeling. Every time I hear the song a massive smile appears on my face.

Isolation is a full band effort though I think that on the recording that Tim Loud plays most, if not all, of the instruments. I really enjoyed Tim's work in his former band Bootscraper so it's great to hear the full band element on this song. The opening of the song has a great build before the vocals come in and the song really gets going. I always love a song that has some "ooooo-oh" harmonies and Isolation has them by the truck load. I think that I would really enjoy hearing this song live. A great track to sing along to. The penultimate track on What Am I? is named Slip. Beginning with some acoustic guitar (Tim plays a twelve string!) Tim sings and is accompanied by some very deep harmonies. It made me think of pirate sea shanties. As the track goes on the tempo rises the intensity also goes up and when we get to the end there is a whole lot of passion in the vocal. The last song on the album is named Control. I really liked the imagery of the track, it's called Control and the song is certainly controlled. At times there is a build that makes you believe that things are going to explode but the explosion never comes. Fantastic piece of song writing.

One problem I often find with acoustic artists is that albums can lack variety. This certainly isn't the case with What I Am? Tim Loud is an exceptionally talented individual who deserves a lot of success.

Order What Am I? here:

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