vrijdag 9 februari 2024

Life In Reverse. TELL

When we get older, music can seem to get to the point that we have heard it all. Many of my friends are at that stage. Don't expect them to listen to Life In Reverse by Boston band TELL. People with a love for rock music tilting a little towards pop from the U.S and the U.K. would be wise to listen any way and discover a bunch of songs, six to be exact, that are very worthwhile to get to know and to sing along with.

TELL is a foursome from Boston around the duo David Wildman and bass player Jay Raffi. They have been playing for decades in all sorts of bands and since 2021 work together under the name TELL. They released the debut album in 2021 called 'Stir Crazy'. This album passed me by totally. Not Life In Reverse though. Working with newbies Jim Foster, guitar and Patrick Cran, drums, a mini album saw the light of day.

If anything, the music on Life In Reverse reminds me of the post 'Hunky Dory' and pre-'Young Americans' David Bowie. A giveaway is partly the way Wildman sings but also a little in the music. TELL's rock has that dragging in its vibe, as if things go slower musically than they really are. The album opens with 'Owned' though and enter The Kinks from 1980. Both artists are among my musical heroes for decades, so you won't hear me complaining. What is more important though, is that 'Owned' is a great song in its own right. Guitars are all over the place and still a piano can take a short shining role in an interlude. The tight rhythm and chugging bass are the finishing touches to which the singing can start shining.

Press photo: Dan Saltzman

David Wildman's voice is clearly ageing, all four men definitely can't be called young any more, but has the enthusiasm needed to entice people to listen.

Another example I'd like to offer is 'Sweet Life'. A 1980s synth comes in for some parts, dating the sound a little in this pop-rock song and puts a geographical spotlight on the U.K... TELL knows what to pilfer from a specific sound from the past and use it in a far broader sense. 'Sweet Life' is more rock than pop and certainly not a 1980s song, but it could have been a China Crisis single in another era.

It is the combination of musical influences that make Life In Reverse and attractive album. Yes, I've heard it all (before) and recently I got to hear more to my great pleasure. Tell about TELL, will you?

Wout de Natris

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