steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion


"The Tongues You Have Tied" CD

Three Ring Records

Genres: folk-pop, folk-rock, alt country

Three Ring
PO Box 883123
San Francisco, CA

Jan 10 - 16 2005

The Tongues You Have Tied is a trip into Soltero's melancholy world, complete with twelve pleasant folk-pop tunes that combine elements of Leonard Cohen, Will Oldham, and the more overt pop of later Pavement.  The album doesn't vary much from the formula established right off the bat, but it is regardless very infectious and charming.  Soltero's Tim Howard is the main musician involved here (though there are guest performers); his vocals are a particular asset on the record, landing somewhere in Sparklehorse and the Red House Painters' neck of the woods, endearing but passionate.

Of the album's many low-key songs, a few stand out.  Opener "The Light Bulb Above You" is a particularly cute and joyful number, perfect for a dreary but hopeful raining afternoon.  "Nella Madeleine" and "Old-Time Promises" are more melancholy, but they still retain a twangy, storyteller accessibility.  "The Factory" is probably the album's most emotional moment, complete with a gradually-building song structure and a very sweet, endearingly sung climax chorus.  Even the album's instrumentals work wonderfully, combining impressive technical skills with flat-out wonderful melodies.

Overall, The Tongs You Have Tied is a terrific collection of rural, country-tinged love songs.  Soltero will have you howling along in no time.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]