Sketchbook

Tim Keyes

API Records, 2003

REVIEW BY: Emily Kinsella

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/25/2003

"Sunday was always Pancake Day in our family, because that was the day we'd all drive up to Pancake Mountain, and then maybe on the way home, stop and get some pizza. We'd always sing the same song, too, on the way home. It went like this: 'There's nothing flatter than a pizza, nothing you can make. The only thing that might be flatter is a fish they call the hake!'"

Reading this random, irrelevant quote from my favorite absent-mind on the planet, Jack Handey, I immediately was reminded of Tim Keyes' new CD Sketchbook. The quote is like the CD in that it made me laugh in puzzlement, wondering, "Who in the world would think of something like this?" To answer that question pertaining to the quote, I responded quite emphatically, "A genius, that's who! God bless this man!!" However, when I pondered this same query after listening to Sketchbook, I answered in yet more puzzlement, "Uhhh, I guess Tim Keyes would."

The first song on this album (besides the intro-a bunch of people talking) is called "Higher Ground." It is four minutes, seventeen seconds of straight out empowering, inspirational garbage that actually makes me feel considerably under-zealous. I guess maybe it's the drum machine, "rocking" electric guitar and keyboard-organ undertones that drag this thing all the way "under ground." Moving on to number three, "Gain The World," starts off unpleasantly with a sound that is reminiscent of tin cans shaking around, and I swear a guitar riff they sampled from my old Casio keyboard. Also, "you are a seed that won't grow, the doomed that don't know/you are a hand caught in a grinding wheel turning very, very slow."my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Man, I don't know. I just really don't.

Oh yeah, "if I could paint the rain the color of my disappointment, I would paint you." Yeah, in a way it makes sense, but I guess you'd have to hear this song (number four, "(If I Could) Paint The Rain"), to understand my frustration. Towards the end, the tempo slows down, and the bells-and-chimes beat changes to, like, African drums and a rainstorm.

The thing that makes this CD the most unbearable is the sound of old Timmy's voice. It actually sounds a lot like Bruce Springsteen's, but Tim probably wanted to distinguish his pipes from The Boss' by taking classes in "How To Make Your Voice Like A Creepy Uncle's Or The Voice Of A Guy Who Asks You If You Have Seen His Dog While Driving Around School Bus Stops In His Dirty Geo Metro." Because, that's really what his voice sounds like. I couldn't clear it from my mind before bed, and I had to listen to the Dixie Chicks before I fell asleep so I could be ensured safe, happy, Tim Keyes-free dreams.

I'll be the first to say I have eclectic music taste. Look at my Kazaa playlist, and you will find The Ataris, followed by Rod Stewart, followed by Bob Dylan, after George Strait. Every single day, everywhere I go, I find a new song or artist that I like. My point is, I do not discriminate based on age of performer, genre of their music, or sometimes even how talented the musician. And yet I absolutely found nothing even remotely appealing about Tim Keyes' music. Granted, I have never heard any of his previous work, and sometimes being understandably narrow-minded, I vow never to subject myself to the older forms of torture produced by this man. In the end, I am confident that I can categorize this slop as "weak song-writing meets a thrift-store keyboard and an old Macintosh computer, plus a freakishly disturbing, but somehow alright, voice."

I'm telling you, do not waste your time on this because you will be bored, flabbergasted, or, in some cases, disgusted. Even my dad didn't like it.

* If I didn't feel so overcome with remorse whenever I attempt to give an "F", this album would have that.)

Rating: D-*

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2003 Emily Kinsella 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 API Records, and is used for informational purposes only.