Album Review: Illustrative Anecdotes | Tim Langworthy
Rare are the cases of the Sanctum relating to and being fascinated by an album of the Pop-Rock genre and today we’re getting deeper into one of those. Tim Langworthy’s debut ‘Illustrative Anecdotes’ is a beautiful piece of sad music that begs to be discovered. Let’s see what it’s all about in detail. Pressing Play >
‘Because of You’ is a feel-good Pop-Rock track about love, belonging, exploring relationships and life itself. A bright prologue that would also make a great epilogue for an album and this alone makes me wonder what follows as well as how this journey ends. Furthermore there’s a sense of adventure given by the emotional yet optimistic instrumental and lyrics ‘I’m trying to find the source of truth’. Now, the verses of the gracefully melancholic ‘Gone Again’ change the mood 180 degrees speaking about pain and loss through a -possibly- real story ‘You were the martyr, not the sinner’ that lets the listener create their own scenario or relate in their own ways. Langworthy sounds mature and compassionate, completely aware of the importance of an expressive story-telling, exhibiting another side of him that goes beyond the apparent musician/singer/songwriter title.
Same is the case of the following ‘Old Man Sitting on a Step’ where the narrative gives space to the listener’s imagination to visualize, travel and feel a wide spectrum of emotions. As the artist sings ‘Hallelujah’ repeatedly throughout the choruses, there’s a strong sense of salvation and forgiveness liberating the soul. An especially powerful moment. In ‘Starry Night’ the artist is effortlessly delivering the warmest, most loving performance yet as slow-paced percussion, gleamy keys and velvety strings combine into a heavenly lullaby that is much unexpected from a Rock male voice. ‘Starry Night’ is the sound of the unconditional love given from a parent to their child. It’s the tears of happiness and gratitude at the end of a beautiful journey. **sobbing while writing**. For all the reasons above, this goes in my personal top 3 of Illustrative Anecdotes.
In the middle of this experience we find ‘Someday’, a brother to ‘Because of You’ mood-wise, where Langworthy’s hotshot-y vocals find their home. The laid-back attitude and country-ish flavors make this track feel like a short break before we get deeper into the heart of this project. ‘The Letter’ justifies this thought indeed as the darkest, heaviest comeback piece to lead the second half of the album. The artist shares: ‘The track is inspired by a real letter sent from a Ukrainian soldier to his daughter’. Rain is falling and lightnings strike as the listener is transferred into a rock opera where Langworthy is harmonizing over raging guitars, mighty kick-snares and an abundance of emotions. The air gets electrified as we are offered vivid imagery of nature against war machines, of life against death ‘Two flowers bloom for you far from the guns’. Like the calm after the storm comes the -otherwise restless- ‘I’m Alive’, a rock ballad about feeling lost and helpless. The super-rich production, solid vocal performance as well as the fiery, sensational bridge make the track a standout piece despite its mainstream characteristics.
And even though ‘Today’ has all those qualities just as well, it somehow makes for the least memorable part of this LP for me. Regardless of this personal preference, the track is bold enough and decidedly belongs in here. Little before the end we are presented with the undeniable hidden gem titled ‘Abuse’ where six minutes are not enough to contain the emotional volume of the intense instrumental, profound lyrics and overwhelming climaxes. Langworthy is masterfully displaying vibrant, almost cinematic imagery once more ‘The color turns from clear to red’, bravely touching the matter of abuse, extremely relevant in this day and age considering the growing number of femicide cases around the world. ‘Abuse’ is a successful paradigm of art reflecting life and society. Last but not least, a stripped version of ‘Because of You’ leaves the listener with a promise for a new start, a promise that everything will work out in the end as long as we’re guided by love, hope and good intentions.
Having reached the end of this experience, it’s safe to say that Tim Langworthy couldn’t come up with a more accurate title for his debut. Illustrative Anecdotes is a collection of affecting stories graphically expressed through a passionate, gifted narrator/musician. More importantly, Langworthy created a body of work that honors the feelings of its protagonists and celebrates their journeys in life without embellishing the events or exaggerating for the sake of art. The Sanctum is only blessed to have come across such an honest piece of music to spend time with and host in its pages. Cheers!
Enjoy Illustrative Anecdotes here: