Tall Tales & the Silver Lining

Fall In

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The sunny mood that dominated the first album from Tall Tales & the Silver Lining has been filtered through some light cloud cover on Fall In, the second effort by Trevor Beld Jimenez and his collaborators, and the shift in tone suits them well. Where The Understanding sounded just a shade too sweet for comfort, particularly in its moments of forced naivete, on Fall In, Beld Jimenez's warm, lived-in voice betrays a bit more life experience (as well as increased confidence), and he seems in better control of his instrument, making his vocal limitations an asset in this context. The arrangements follow suit, recalling late-'60s and early-'70s folk-rock with a gentle but adult tone that's tuneful but sophisticated, a bit like a more spare version of the Autumn Defense. Beld Jimenez's lyrical wordplay remains witty and playful, but he's willing to venture into deeper territory, with more drama and honest emotion along the way to his usual happy endings. And the production is simple and straightforward on Fall In, which turns out to be just the right choice; these recordings capture the natural ambience of a band of gifted musicians playing together in a room, and the organic tone is made to order for this music. Fall In's 11 songs play themselves out in just over 29 minutes, but the modest scale of the album feels just right; there isn't much wasted space on this record, and Tall Tales & the Silver Lining make each moment count; it's a considerable improvement over their debut.

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