There’s always something buzzing in your ears when you grab a pile of old mixtapes you gave away (and got returned with a couple of rejection letters…or post its) and you play them again in your car a few years after the emotions connected to them have faded like the colours in a Polaroid.
Still, it’s always a surprise in two ways: one, you rediscover yourself and where you were (emotionally) a couple of years ago. Second, you might remember why you loved the bands you put on tape so much and, heck, you might want to listen to them again. Maybe the tape didn’t accomplish its original way but it did rekindle a fire…
So, Easy Tells would be like the tapes you used to give away in that awkward period between high school and the first time you got a fenderbender in your Dad’s Citation X-11 (superb car too. Sorry Dad). The sound of those days that felt as long and eternal as space and the sun always shone bright. It didn’t matter if money was tight or if you basically ended up as the community car pool for your friends, it was all good fun and carefree attitudes that mattered (‘Got what you paid for’).
For some strange reason, maybe a foreboding sense of failure (hey, it happens), you did include in said fictional mixtape a downbeat song. Is it a warning? Is it a declaration of acceptance that reject is a possibility? Even worse: is it a stern realisation that feelings are sometimes fleeting? ‘It wasn’t always this way’ has those feelings of dread (and a sweet guitar tone…love that solo). Dreamy, but with one toe still gripping to earth.
Enough gloominess. This was a good mixtape and there’s the raucous, sing along to get the spirits going and the heads bobbing in the car. ‘Your favorite place (we always get what we need)’ is that song full of staples soul, funky pop. Happy and rose tinted, enough to hide that feeling of longing. ‘Five A.M.’ is a goodbye song. No, more of “laters!” than a clear cut…and it might have been the one that got you in trouble. Maybe the message got mixed and the mixtape gave a wrong impression and, well, you can’t always get what you want, but after so many years, does it matter anymore? The songs are still there and you still have a connection to them, resonating in the cavernous depths of your soul. Again, the guitar work is nifty (freakin’ sweet solo) and the piano just makes it very classy. Pop, very well made pop.
A sweet poker of easy going ditties with a lot of soul. Let’s hope a royal flush isn’t far away.