Music Review: Tim Chaisson - The Other Side

A subtle, quiet album concentrating on P.E.I. resident Chaisson's tender, emotional numbers. Producer Colin Linden keeps everything subdued, on a bed of strumming acoustic guitar, and touches of brightness such as organ that just rise to audible levels to colour the songs but never overwhelm. That puts the emphasis on Chiasson's plaintive voice, matching the search for romantic insight found in the lyrics.

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In Come Clean, he dreams of a tidal wave, that sees his lost or missing love swallowed by a sea of his creation, and he has to admit he misses ""you so much it's killing me." Bail You Out, one of the more forceful numbers, is his promise to always come to the rescue. The Healing takes place in the aftermath of a fight or break-up, our boy "sick and tired of this feeling/nothing changes but the seasons/I'm right here where you left me."

Whew. Poor Tim, hope things are going better. Thankfully, Speak Easier seems him perking up, with some pretty wise words, and a great fiddle break from the man himself. And in Long Road Of Love, the balance of power is reversed, with him waiting on "the saddest girl on P.E.I.", ready to provide some relief if she wants to travel that long road with him. Lead track and single Beat This Heart is a killer make-up song, complete with an excellent harmony vocal by Serena Ryder, both sides admitting the other can always win them over.

I'm not sure where this will get slotted in the radio world, but might I suggest country give it a spin, I think it would sound great in that landscape, real instead of manufactured emotion. Heck, it's rootsy and folksy enough for those fans, too. Bring a date.

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About Bob Mersereau

Rockin' BobBob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).

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