"The Tongues You Have Tied" CD
Genres: folk-pop, folk-rock, alt country
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.
12 tracks, distributed by the
label, released 2004]