Review of Tim Easton – “Not Cool”
Looking for a sound that makes you revive the Elvis Sun Studio era? Looking for an Americana record with a classic old-timey flavor but modern at the same time? So there’s something that fits perfectly for you.
After moving from Joshua Tree, CA in 2011 and settling down in Nashville, the critically acclaimed rocker Tim Easton, at his 8th solo studio album, churns out Not Cool, an essentially early rock’n’roll and twang oriented collection that well reflects his full immersion in the Music City.
It’s a travel in a 50’s honky tonk landscape that anyway, also thanks to excellent arrangements and lyrics that tell stories about broken hearts, bad romance, loneliness at times verbalized with sour disenchantment and frankness, brings you back to the current Americana scenario. Totally ideal listening for a back porch summer day.
Co-produced with Brad Jones and Robin Eaton, with the collaboration, just to name a few, of JD Simo (slide guitar) and Joe Flick (bass), recorded in just five days, is another convincing Easton’s piece of work, where his skillfully, superbly played guitar goes tastefully along a solfly brittle voice.
You can immediately savor its vintage feel together with an upbeat catchy tone right in the first track Don’t Lie.
Electric guitar, drums and bass also give great vibes in Lickety Split and Troubled Times, while a country blues atmosphere echoes in the biting riffs of They will bury you.
Of the same kind, Gallatin Pike Blues reaches a melancholy note, underpinned by an elegant acoustic guitar. Four Queens adds to this texture rythm and the touch of an brilliantly well-performed harmonica.
The rock and roll theme is exemplarly expressed in songs like Crazy Motherfucker From Shelby, Ohio and comes to the climax in the enthralling pace of Little Doggie.
The title track Not Cool marks a slower folky tone, a warm ballad that leaves room for the instrumental last tune of the album Knock Out Roses (For Levon). Written on the day the legendary Levon Helm died, is beautifully enriched by Megan Palmer (also vocalist in some other songs) mandolin and fiddle.
Altough steel guitar, alt. country and rockabilly lovers are those who will probably appreciate it most, this album it’s capable of attracting a larger audience since any of you could find yourself foot tapping at its first spin in almost all of the 30 minutes running time. Surely it comes as no surprise as expected by a first class songwriter, and Tim Easton actually is.
All in all, Not Cool must be consedered among the most prominent album released in 2013. Very Cool.