Tal Bachman

Tal Bachman

Columbia Records, 1999


REVIEW BY: Alison Bellach


Yeah, I am sure there are already about 10 million reviews of this album out there. But, I guarantee that none present the highly unique Alison viewpoint, so you are now obliged to hear what I have to say about it. So, ha.

I decided to buy this album after, in a characteristically non-Alison fashion, listening to the radio. I was assaulted by the song "She's So High" on three different stations, and after listening to it, I thought, "Yes! Another Morten Harket! An A-Ha of the nineties! A guy singing falsetto and actually fitting it into the song WELL!" It was great. I felt that radio had finally redeemed itself, after having made me listen to 200 hours of commercials between songs. And, the fact that I knew a guy named Tal made it seems all the more fateful. So, I went down to my friendly neighborhood secret CD guy and picked up the CD for $4.

Then, on the way home, I listened to the first seven tracks. When I arrived at my house, I had already written half of my review in my head. "Great! Awesome! Sweet!" I was going to put something in the review about how I thought the singer was cute, too, and just sensitive enough to be a possible date partner for our heroine.... But, I figured that that isn't really a review; people might want to actually KNOW something about the album. (Huh?) So, here you go:my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This album rocks.

In fact, barring a very small number of annoyances I have, I could say that this album is technically perfect. I liked it the first time I listened to it. I liked it the second and third time, too. I liked the fact that the lyrics aren't dopey and lame, but actually have some substance. (Well, all save one song.) I liked the fact that Bachman has a great vocal range (men who sing higher than me frighten me, but in this case, I made an exception) and knows how to use it instead of trying to show it off needlessly (see Mariah Carey).

I liked the fact that Bachman attacks difficult subjects (death in "If You Sleep", for example, is handled in such a wonderfully sweet and sorrowful way that it made my night drive seem magical) and yet does not fall prey to silly sappiness. I personally don't care (or find it important, barring the fact that this means that he definitely came from a musical household) that he's the son of Randy Bachman (Bachman-Turner Overdrive), because I think this album stands on it's own.

The album starts off with "Darker Side Of Blue," an ode to the darker side of fame. (How many times have we heard that one?) Luckily for Bachman, he knows how to approach an almost cliché subject with class - the song is a rocker. And, of course, "She's So High", the song that drew me in, is a great tune too, even if a little confusing for the average listener. (I have had to explain to three friends so far that he's not talking about beauty, but really unattainability; I mean, Cleopatra was one ugly chick.) "Romanticide" is a funny track lamenting the fate of the "good guy": "Whoever said to take it on the chin / Whoever said that good guys always win / Has never seen the sorry state I'm in / A victim of romanticide again"

The "small annoyance" I have is with the song "Looks Like Rain." I found it hard to listen to, if not impossible; it is an actually agitating track. It owes this mostly to the Split Enz-esque piano playing in the background, a constant, fast pounding that made me more than compelled to fast forward through the song. The track that follows, "You're My Everything", is saved from Alison's hatred for sappy lyrics - and I mean, I HATE sappy lyrics - because of Bachman's handling of the song; he almost sounds cynical as he sings "I love you and adore you, you're all that life could bring..."

I could go over each track, but I find that they are all equally well done. If you're looking for perfect pop, this is a great choice. The first track makes me look forward to the second and third, just as Bachman's first album makes me look forward to the next release from this great artist.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Alison Bellach and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Columbia Records, and is used for informational purposes only.