14 April 2015
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5
Tim Hardin ups the musician's quality in pretty much every area. I know I'm pushing the Tim Buckley comparisons, but Tim Hardin 1 and 2 are somewhat analogous to Buckley's debut and "Goodbye and Hello." The production becomes more gossamer and textured while the tunes themselves become more transcendental. Most of the blues grit from the debut has been scrubbed away, but the sound becomes more widescreen punctuated with adventurous percussion patterns.
There's straight away some money in the song titles - you'll now spot some stone cold classics like "If I Were A Carpenter" and "Lady Came From Baltimore." Of course, they were popularized by others, but these do have the benefit of being the originals. Plenty of other tunes here could've ended up with the same fate - the only one that doesn't do it for me is the Old West music hall scrapping "See Where You Are and Get Out." "Tribute to Hank Williams" certainly leaves an impression - sort of a spiritual forbearer to Mark Kozelek's more modern burst of melancholic nostalgia as Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon. That mid-60's L.A. session groove settles in a little deeper on many of the tracks, but they do better to serve the songs here and up the cinematic quotient.
Whereas Tim Hardin 1 deserves more recognition, Tim Hardin 2 is a classic that hasn't really seen its proper due. I wasn't around for the man's actual career. Maybe he had a screaming band of followers that we've all forgotten about. But in the here and now, the fellow's been flying under my radar for too long.
Trip-O-Meter: 3.25 out of 5
An A-list songwriter plagued with a C-list career. Tim Hardin was one of the main templates for the singer-songwriter, although I imagine he might have had more Brill Building aspirations. While this release wheels around a tight corner of rock, folk, and blues, it's 1966 and just enough grooviness seeps on through the arrangements to place Hardin under the watch of our psychedelic eye. It's not completely dissimilar from another Tim's debut, but where Tim Buckley is on a vision quest of elliptical philosophy, Hardin's a little more down in the grit. He can't trapse upon a five octive range like Buckley can, but he's more convincing with the world-weary rasp that powers the bluesy tunes he like "Smugglin' Man," "How Long," and "Ain't Gonna Do Without."
The highlights here I guess are going to depend on your love for arrangement syrup. "Misty Roses" glides along the bossa nova stratosphere, and "It'll Never Happen Again" throws a full-on mid-60's L.A. session arrangement into the mix. Again, the man has no trouble penning a tune, so you may appeal more to the more stripped down and pulsing "Smugglin' Man." The lyrics do serve as a signifier for the later Rock Mountain High of the 70's singer-songwriters. Of course we'll give Hardin the benefit of time as it wasn't yet a cliche when putting together the lyrics of something like "Reason To Believe."
This is an album that was never meant for the stratosphere, but certainly deserves the same notoriety as the Buckley's. If you've got the disposition for the dawn of soft rock bolstered with just a touch of leftover sludge from the Mississippi Delta, then this is definitely one for you.
07 April 2015
Welp, this is the most psychedelic video I've seen for a while. I always do "I Am the Walrus" at karaoke without fail, and I'm always up for avant-garde strangeness, so this is directly up me alley. Warning: you will see boobies in this video, so it's NSFW. I dunno, maybe it shouldn't be a warning - I like to see boobies. I'll get to you soon with new reviews - been stewing in my own juices or something. I did create a lot of electronic music in those juices, though, which will soon be coming your way. Oh yes, video: