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One storyteller from Canada, Calgary to be specific, has opened his heart and composed around its contents. Folk singer Tod Hughes, has released his newest album, Time Slow Down on May 8, 2016. Does the nine track album carry the weight of history or get lost in time?
Time Slow Down is not mainstream radio station music, these roots remain deep in music that does not often appeal to the masses. Luckily appealing to the masses is not what Tod Hughes is after, he is more concerned with music that comes from the heart. The most likely place to hear this music would probably be at an open mic or maybe a small bar. Tod Hughes pulls together a group and a sound that remains close to its roots, folk and Americana genres are heavily felt here. A few songs switch tempo and mix it up a little, but each track sticks close to the heart of any singer songwriter like Bob Dylan and John Fogerty.
“Search for hidden meaning when there is none to be found.”
To date, Time Slow Down has one track that has been converted into a music video, that song would be“Drinking Coffee in a Hipster Place” (video below). This track might be considered a high point of the album to some due to the feel good beat that so effortlessly keeps going, but the lyrics seem a little droll. The extra bits of detail across the album shine through much stronger than than dull parts though, such as the female vocals on the track “You and Me” as well as the percussion that replaces the drums on “One of a Kind.”
Hughes has a lot of strength in his musical presence, his voice sings full even when it sounds a little raspy. It never sounds like Hughes is in the wrong place at the wrong time, in fact, he plays the role of spotlight quite well, but even with the help of a full band Time Slow Down fails to really impress. The sound quality, the instrument choice, it is all good, Tod Hughes has experience and proves that he is no slouch, proves that rock can live if you feed it life, yet the album feels like it is missing its climax. The variety in tempo seen across the album show skills but it does not leave the listener with a sense of fullness, while this might be the fault of the short track list, it still needs to be said that Tod Hughes has the potential to put together an even stronger album with his next release.
“I used to feel like I owned this town.”
Even with the idea of spending time (slowed down) in the present and reflecting, most of the songs on Time Slow Down are more uptempo than not. This is not so much bad or good, but important for understanding Hughes’ intentions. Every note, every word feels authentic, for a soulful experience give Time Slow Down a listen.
Underground Examinations is a series of Independent Music Reviews with the intention of giving new music a fair and appropriate opportunity to be enjoyed.