The 1960s are responsible for a slew of modern day must-haves. The laser, human spaceflight, Astroturf, the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and air hockey are just a few of the wonderful things to come from that tumultuous decade.
Tim Presley doesnâ€™t care about anything that I just listed. Instead, heâ€™s interested in the decadeâ€™s music and makes it painfully evident on his solo project White Fenceâ€™s album, â€œIs Growing Faith.â€
The shimmering, â€˜60s drenched sound that is White Fence is instantly welcoming. The album is a generational time machine, from start to close, that begged me to put myself in a freshly retired baby boomerâ€™s shoes.
I accepted the invitation and jumped into a haze of psych-pop. Highlights from the album, like â€œBody Coldâ€ and â€œGet That Heart,â€ sound effortless and light, but where these songs succeed in triumphing their aesthetics, many others fail.
I often feel that my best academic papers were never written because, while the ideas were there, the drive to realize their full potential was not. Similarly, â€œIs Growing Faithâ€ is swollen with good intentions but heavy with poor execution.
Too many of the tracks rely on a lone guitar riff that stretches for the songâ€™s entirety. While often catchy, they arenâ€™t enough to keep the tracks from flattening out and growing stale.
Album Winner for WTF? is the ambling â€œThe Mexican Twins/Life is â€¦ Too $hort.â€ The first half, a puzzling, spoken-word affair, morphs into a pleasant pop song that The Beatles may have been proud to call their own. Itâ€™s aimlessness like this that makes the album ultimately forgettable.
As background noise, the album holds up well â€“â€“ suitable for some noise while you cook dinner or a lazy day at the park. Intentional listening, however, reveals the album as too much a palette and not enough a painting.
Music reviewer Nic Turiciano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.