Jan 192011
Authors: Nic Turiciano

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 doesn’t care about anything that I just listed. Instead, he’s interested in the decade’s music and makes it painfully evident on his solo project White Fence’s album, “Is Growing Faith.”

The shimmering, ‘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 boomer’s shoes.

I accepted the invitation and jumped into a haze of psych-pop. Highlights from the album, like “Body Cold” and “Get That Heart,” 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, “Is Growing Faith” 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 song’s entirety. While often catchy, they aren’t enough to keep the tracks from flattening out and growing stale.

Album Winner for WTF? is the ambling “The Mexican Twins/Life is … Too $hort.” 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. It’s aimlessness like this that makes the album ultimately forgettable.

As background noise, the album holds up well –– 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 verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:59 pm

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