Tim Lee 3
The Paisley Pop
Oct 6 2008
Good2b3 marks the twenty-fifth record Tim Lee has had
his name on, as well as the eighth album in his
official discography. A surprise to me, yes
- but one listen
in and it starts to make
a lot of sense. This is a polished and
professional rock album with a stellar array of pop hooks to its
credit. After a mere couple of listens, you'll find yourself humming
these melodies in the subway and dreaming in Tim Lee stereo-sound.
It should be noted that Good2b3 is not exactly
the model of originality in songwriting.
Indeed, this is prototypical rock/pop music,
but it is executed magnificently. The Tim Lee 3 wear their
influences on their sleeves, and this comes out early on.
"Saving Gracie" is pure 90s alt pop (and not just a little reminiscent
of Deadeye Dick's "New Age Girl"), "Chronic Liar" seems to take
a cue from R.E.M., and "Hindsight" has distinct Big Star
undertones. Despite their derivations, though, the majority of
Good2b3 sounds remarkably fresh. The exceptions are few and far
between, and even when they are encountered they aren't drastic lapses
- melodically bland "Mile-Long Midway" and by-the-numbers "End of the
Road" come to mind. The bulk of the record,
meanwhile, is fantastic stuff. Spirited opener "'Til the Roof Caves
In" has an instantly memorable memory and an appropriate
bring-the-house-down demeanour, and "Chuck Berry in Space" pulls off
moody space-pop exquisitely. Meanwhile, Lee's country and folk
tendencies - always lurking in Good2b3's
background - come out most explicitly on dreary "Just One More
(For Larry Brown) and Magnolia Electric Co.
influenced "Carried Away."
Marked by melodic potency and crisp production values, Good2b3
reminds us that relatively traditional rock/pop needs not be bland and
generic. Here's to another twenty-five records, Tim.
I can't wait until the twenty-sixth.
[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by
released May 20, 2008]