Tim Easton

The Truth About Us

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Having recorded one album with the Haynes Boys on Slab and a solo album in 1998 (Special 20) on his own Heathen label, singer/songwriter Tim Easton comes of age here with a mature, affecting, and charmingly eclectic solo turn for the more established (but still scrappy) New West label. It's a great achievement. His sound draws deeply on rootsy Americana, with acoustic slide guitar and twangy pedal steel emerging occasionally from the background and upright bass holding things down below. The presence of several members of Wilco contributes to the generally rootsy feel, too. But there are anomalies that keep the proceedings from sounding too traditional: the occasional Mellotron, for instance, or the weird gurgling synthesizer that opens "Soup Can Telephone Conversation," or the Casiotone beatbox that accompanies the acoustic guitar and pedal steel on "I Would Have Married You." Easton's voice is pleasantly ragged, and his lyrical sentiments are soft-hearted without being soft-headed. The songs grow on you; by the fourth time through this album, you'll be anxiously awaiting the next one.

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