Friday, May 25, 2007

Don't Tell All Your Friends...Well Maybe....

I return to the blogosphere after a 12 week layoff. I've been quite busy with my new gig at as well as with that I've neglected this puppy quite a bit.
So in a haste to get back into it here goes one CD review.

SoCal native William Tell gained most of his fan base while touring with the alt-rock band Something Corporate. In the late 90's and early new millenium Something Corporate gained an almost cult-like following and packed venues on an everyday basis. Then lead singer Andrew McMahon's leukemia worsened and the band fizzled. After McMahon's immune system picked itself up again he started anew with the band Jack's Mannequin and the other Something Corporate members were left to fend for themselves. Drummer Josh Partington formed the band Firescape and William Tell released his debut record "You Can Hold Me Down."

Whereas Jack's Mannequin has garnered instant success, Tell is still struggling, but that won't last for long. The disc, which was released this spring, is sprinkled with plenty of modern rock nuggets to put him back in the spotlight. Opening track "Jeanne" has a power-pop, Jason Falkner feel to it while single "Slipping Under" has Top 40 smash written all over it. Then things get a little murky. On the funk, psuedo-rap of "Fairfax" Tell pushes the envelope a little too much and the song falls flat. "Maybe Tonight" is dreamy and is one of the album's more decent songs, but "Like You, Only Sweeter" tries to be mean and punishing and is anything but. On the plaintive "Young at Heart" Tell earns points for tackling a tough subject: suicide, but his weak vocals don't do much to give the song any real sense of pizazz. The album's two best songs "Sounds" and "Just For You" come towards the end. The piano-based title track, which comes across as more of an opus closes the disc and ends it on a winning note. Unfortunately there are too many iffy tracks to give this disc a glowing review but considering this is a debut it's a nice step in the right direction. Watch out for this guy. His next album may be huge.

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