April 19, 2004

Tim Williams "The Refrain"

I always get excited when I get a record like The Refrain, because it gives me a little bit of hope for the future of music. You know how people always seem to say 'well, there's no good music being made any more?' Well, Tim Williams proves that there are folk out there who know the power of melody. The Refrain is his debut, and it's packed with six really lovely singer-songwriter pop songs. Williams has a soft, sweet voice that's not too jazzy or too folky. It's not too husky, nor is it too sweet--it's a perfect, strong pop-singing voice. When his band turns up the rock on "Cave In" and "Fine Without You," he never gets lost or overwhelmed, and when they play a jazzier number such as "Leaving You" and "Hard to Let Go," Williams never sounds too heavy. (Of course, it wouldn't be unfair to say "reminiscent of Jeff Buckley" right about now, either, but Williams' isn't Buckley, and thankfully he's not trying to be.)

As great as it is, The Refrain is not a perfect record. The record's major flaw--and it's one that's quite obvious--is that the drums are too high in the mix. Williams' voice is strong enough to sing loud, but at times he seems to be in a losing battle with the drumming, and the oeverwhelming drum beat drowns out the otherwise gorgeous instrumentation and the wonderful arrangements. I'm not worried too much about it, as I'm sure that's something that will be fixed in the future. In fact, it's Williams' future that has me enthralled--The Refrain is a great debut from a young man whose future could easily prove quite interesting.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.tim-williams.net

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