Throwback Thursday – Jim Croce, “Time In A Bottle”

Jim-CroceSometimes I regard artists who died young to be a bit overhyped, but my feelings for Jim Croce’s music is the exact opposite. Despite dying incredibly young at only 30 years old from a plane crash, Jim Croce created some beautiful music and his #1 hit “Time In A Bottle” may be the best example of what creative talent this man had to offer.

The ballad is soft (rock) and focuses heavily on the singer’s vocals, with a light acoustic guitar guiding the sound. Its inspiration comes from the discovery of his wife’s pregnancy in 1970, but has always applied to the singer’s death and how fans and lovers of good music felt after his passing. Lyrically, the song is a masterpiece and incredibly reflective. Those sick handlebars guarded the mouth of a talented singer, and Croce finds a way to show off his voice without pushing his vocal chords’ limits.

Overall, I would rate this song at:

10/10

I consider this a perfect song, and a piece highly deserving of #1 spot (even if it was only for five weeks). You can hear the song and take a trip down Memory Lane below:

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Album Review – Minor Soul, Tiger

A few days earlier I wrote about Indie-Pop group Minor Soul, whose second album Tiger just released yesterday. The album is full of soothing melodies filled with acoustic sound. The brothers follow up their first album with some beautiful tracks in Tiger. Let’s break down the album track-by-track:

1. Nothing At All – One of the group’s singles for the album was Nothing At All, which ends up being my favorite of the album. It is upbeat and catchy, though it does not give a great idea of what the album will sound like. The song is pop-y and contradicts the calm sound of most of the other tracks. I still like the song a lot, just don’t expect the other songs to be similar. 9.5/10

2. Summer Nights – I am amazed by the vocals on this song, and would not be surprised if this became the most popular song on Tiger. While I like listening to Nothing At All the most because of its upbeat tone, this one is a beautiful acoustic masterpiece. Without a doubt the best song on the album. 9.75/10

3. Charlie Chaplin – Another single, and one of the most popular Minor Soul songs, is Charlie Chaplin. It’s a catchy track that picks up pace at the hook. The deep harmonies aren’t as impressive as the proceeding tracks, but it is an enjoyable song. 9/10

4. Running Home – I was truly impressed by the complexity of this song, and it was close to being my favorite on the album. The verses between the hook are not as exciting as the chorus though, except for the brothers’ harmonies together. I could see this also being a big hit song though. 9.5/10

5. Scissor Fingers – I can feel a change of pace for the LP in this song. The acoustic sound is more apparent and the vocals show heavy influence from Soft Rock. The pitch gets a bit too high sometimes in the verses, but the hook is smooth and cute. It is definitely one of the catchiest tracks on Tiger. 8.5/10

6. Old Shoes – Guitar dominates this song, similar to the rate of the previous song. There is a lot of passion before the hook, which is interesting to hear from the smooth vocals of Minor Soul. The bridge sounds a lot like Owl City, not sure why but it reminds me of them. It’s slow but very enjoyable. 9.25/10

7. Cards – From what I hear, this song is pretty popular already. It’s no surprise either. Despite the almost Country-sound of the first stanza, the song picks up pace and leads into an almost Alternative hook. It has a similar complex chorus to Running Home, but with a more consistent pace. 9.5/10

8. Walls and Ceillings – I was surprised by the beat to this song, which is much different from the rest of the album. It does prove, however, that this group knows how to change their sound up a bit every album. That says a lot about a group, and the Pop-sound of Walls and Ceillings, though not exactly my favorite, stands out as different and initiative. 9.25/10

9. High and Low – Right away this song leads to a slow love ballad. If you like a slower Indie sound, this track will be up there in your favorites. The long notes on the hook is incredibly soothing and the calm nature of this song is definitely achieved and consistently carried out. 9.25/10

10. Babylon – Similar to High and Low, Babylon first appears to be a slow ballad. However the hook picks up quickly and transitions into a passionate piece. The next stanza is a bit higher paced and the change is pulled off well to make the song still enjoyable without being too exciting or too calm. The music is similar to a Bastille or One Direction song, who I have praised since the beginning. I could see a track like this being a good model for newer songs from Minor Soul for its band-like sound. The bridge is fun and catchy and works well with the complex song. 9.5/10

11. Tiger – The final song is named after the album itself. The song is a slow and smooth track, explaining their inability to change a woman into what they want, just like they could not make a tiger change its stripes. I like the message, but the sound is basically just vocals with little instrumental. The voices sound great but just feels a bit like an empty shell. 8.25/10

So, that averages to about 9.25/10. The album has some very good songs on it and it is currently one of my favorites. Minor Soul deserves way more recognition and I think the top-rated songs in this review at least deserve a listen. No matter what music you like, it will be easy to find a song you like on here. You can buy their album on iTunes now, and find them on several social media outlets. So enjoy Tiger and if you like it, go back and listen to their debut album, Home Is Where You Are:

-Austin Heath

EDIT: I had forgotten Cards was produced by Ajr, so I’m sure that has something to do with it being a good song.

Artist Recommendation – Bread

Bread is a soft rock band from the 1960’s and 70’s. Their lead singer, David Gates, has a great voice and his songs with the group are classics. I know plenty of adults have heard Bread’s songs, but I think that these songs could also be favorites of this generation.

I like Bread a lot and have listened to their songs since I was an infant. However I figured it would clog the blog less if I put my personal favorites by them in one post. Bread was always considered “baby-making music” back in the day, but I never let that stop me. Their big break was when they released Make It With You in 1970, as it reached #1 on Billboard’s Top 100. No other song came close, but my favorites include Guitar ManEverything I Own, and their follow up to their first hit, It Don’t Matter to Me.

Bread’s music is soft and smooth, growing up on it has made me open to enjoy soft rock. Overall I would rate their music at 8.5/10. Always felt like Gates dominated the music, and some of their songs are very similar and repetitive. However their songs are good classics and still relevant in my opinion. Give my favorites a listen below, and you can research on your own if you’d like:

-Austin Heath