Critic’s Corner: Tim Be Told – From the Inside

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I can’t remember exactly how I came across Tim Be Told, a pop/rock band hailing from Virginia, but I remember being skeptical for no good reason. Then I heard a few of their songs on their myspace and was completely surprised by the strength of the few singles they had available to stream at the time. When they announced they were releasing their new EP ‘From the Inside’, I was immediately intrigued and ordered a copy to really get a closer listen at what this band had to offer. Mixing together styles of Gospel, Pop, Rock, and Blues, Tim Be Told offers a pretty unique sound. So should you to check out their EP ‘From the Inside’?

Find out after the jump!

Analyze – Great instrumentation and use of strings. It’s a very strong song that manages to be both catchy and well written. Tim, the lead singer, really adds to the great sound, rounding out one of the best pop rock songs I’ve heard in a while.

Weatlh & Poverty– The keyboard sounds give this track a great throwback kind of feel. The song has a Jason Mraz/Jimmy Needham type of vibe and while not an especially light song its still an easy listen; a difficult feat to pull off. The lyrics are thought provoking and offer more to chew on than most songs you would ever hear on the radio.

System– This song definitely has a meatier vibe and a little bit more crunch. It’s like Jason Mraz with just a little bit more edge, which Tim Be Told pulls off pretty well for the most part. There are parts of the song that seem a little formulaic but really I’m just being nitpicky at this point. It’s still a good song that just happens to stand out the least to me from this EP… hey there had to be one =).

Third Wheel– The opening style for this song is very upbeat and sweet… almost excessively so, but it evens out quickly and actually creates a great bounce. The only thing that stylistically bugged me is this low end buzzing sound that occurs in the chorus. I’m not sure what it is but it always makes me think my phone is buzzing. Besides that I really enjoyed this number. It has a great dynamic sound.

Perfect– The title actually fits very well. I think Tim Be Told really finds their niche with this one, with a piano driven, pop but soulful type of sound. It’s just a little bit slower than some of their other cuts on this EP but they still fill it with energy and heart. The subtle Gospel influences are a great touch too. They really shine here.

Honor You– Though a bonus track, this song really exemplifies everything I described about ‘Perfect’, only to a further degree. By toning everything back and taking a gospel-hymn type of route, Tim Be Told really brings out a lot of texture and color to the song. It’s a beautiful, though short close to the EP.

Conclusion:
Though it’s hard to thoroughly judge an EP, I’m going to say hands down this is one of the strongest releases I’ve heard all year despite the fewer selection of tracks. This EP alone has converted me from an optimistic casual listener to a full out enthusiastic fan, leading me to pick up their debut LP from a couple years ago as well. While many musicians struggle to find the perfect sound and style for themselves, Tim Be Told comes incredibly close to hitting the proverbial nail on the head. The have created a great sounding cocktail of Maroon 5 meets Jason Mraz meets Ray Charles meets Elton John… it’s something difficult to describe but I think you’d understand once you heard their material. On top of the great sonic palette, Tim Be Told keeps things weighted with thoughtful writing that touches upon deeper subjects all the while still drawing from their own personal beliefs and faith. It’s a balance that’s hard to strike but they are definitely on the right track. I imagine not all of you will share the same zealous appreciation, but regardless this EP is a must listen. If they can continue the pace and parlay their strengths well into their next full length album, it’s going to be incredible.

Must Listen: Analyze, Wealth & Poverty, Perfect, Honor You

a-Tunes Score: 9.5/10

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