steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Tim Lee 3

"Good2b3" CD

The Paisley Pop Label

Genre: rock, pop

Knoxville, USA

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.

tim lee 3's myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the label, released May 20, 2008]