Monday, August 22, 2011

CD Reviews: Tim Kasher, Maria Taylor

Tim Kasher, “Bigamy: More Songs From The Monogamy Sessions”
Saddle Creek

Tim Kasher and Cursive are for many the musical representation of teenage angst. Now that Kasher's aged a bit (and so have we), he's singing about middle age, which is fitting.

This is a short EP, only seven songs to "Monogamy's" 11. It pays off for Kasher with each song being a short vignette that's about one aspect of middle age life or another. "A Bluer Sea" has repeated references to being "adrift" and "without anchor." "The Jessica" recalls an old relationship and its downfall after seeing some photos. Lead-off track "No Harmony" is my favorite and it ponders cruising the bars for ladies, with Kasher resisting growing into and adult so much that he calls himself "Mr. Peter Pan." He goes on to wonder if he should date a woman his own age, perhaps "a spinster or a divorcee," and then recalls being a divorcee himself.

Fans should know this isn't a Cursive album and rarely sounds anything like one. It's more akin to Kasher's solo debut "The Game Of Monogamy, ("Bigamy" and "Monogamy" were written at the same time) and the stripped-down sound without the crashing guitars adds even more emotion to Kasher's already impassioned songwriting.

Maria Taylor, “Overlook”
Saddle Creek

Other Maria Taylor solo albums have seen her armed with an acoustic guitar and maybe some string arrangements. "Overlook" is dripping with music, whether it's psychadelic guitar and xylophone ("Matador"), jazzy vocals and guitar strumming ("Bad Idea"), up-tempo bluesy guitar ("In A Bad Way") and vocal harmony (freakin' everywhere on this album).

It's an expansive album, but instead of feeling like she can't find a genre to settle down in, she feels at home in all of them.

"Happenstance" laments her "suitcase full on the bedroom floor" always there, which references her recent relocation from LA back to her Birmingham, Ala., home. (The album also features her sister, brother and father on various tracks.)

Get downloads from both after the jump.

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