Tim Halperin

Heart Tells Your Head

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Singer, songwriter, and pianist Tim Halperin is sincere, earnest, confident, and sure, traits that won him a lot of fans when he was a contestant on the 2010 season of American Idol, where he was among the first hopefuls to debut an original song on the show, and it's those same fans who helped bring a lot of attention to his debut full-length, Rise and Fall, when it appeared late in 2011. Now Halperin is at a sort of commercial crossroads. The media glow from American Idol is now in the 21st century version of the distant past, and Halperin's sophomore album, Heart Tells Your Head, has rougher and more uncertain seas to sail. Raised on classic pop artists like Billy Joel and Simon & Garfunkel, Halperin has secular pop smarts, and his piano-based songs and delivery put him in the Ben Folds category, but he also has CCM leanings, so he's big on hope and redemption, which is fine, but the songs on Heart Tells Your Head, for all their earnestness, seem overwrought, lyrically flat, and when melody could save these songs, too often the melody doesn't. Halperin means well, tries hard, and is very sincere, and there's no doubt his already fans are going to like this album every bit as much, if perhaps not more, than they did Rise and Fall. But for those out there thinking that maybe Halperin could be the next Billy Joel pop piano man, little here rises above the earnestly generic, with the possible exception of "Hey 17," which features a turn from Christian rapper Trip Lee, and might do well on adult alternative radio, Halperin's ultimate niche and market. He could choose to go even harder into the Christian and CCM elements of his music, which could greatly expand his fan base, perhaps, but the secular stuff, at least with the cases presented here, just isn't that striking.

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