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TIM PARE – Trans-Siberian Express (CD, Mumbo Jumbo Records)

Posted: January 10th, 2007, by Simon Minter

Apparently Tim Pare jettisoned his past life in 2004, moved to China for a while and subsequently returned on the Trans-Siberian Express, swapping vodka for a guitar in order to write the six songs on this CD. So goes the story in the liner notes. Whether this is true or not is almost immaterial; the experiences gained with such travels don’t particularly inform these songs, which tell a familiar, yet always effective, boy-met-girl/boy-lost-girl story.

The music here is absolutely sparse, in the main. Pare’s clear, slightly breathy voice floats above simple guitar pickings and strummings. There are some subtle arrangements at work, though, with the addition of backing vocal harmonies, piano, cello and on ‘Losing My Touch’, a lovely female voice. The simplicity of the sound lays the songs bare, and it’s fortunate that they’re beautifully sung, carefully performed and affectingly heartfelt.

Tim Pare’s style leans more towards the singer-songwriter template of the Finn Brothers or (although I hate to say it) The Beautiful South at their quietest, but it retains an important sense of reality, purity and honesty that reflects the spiritual presence of Nick Drake and Crosby, Stills and Nash. It’s a frequently lovely listen, and one that captures moods of both hope and despair with deceptively effortless success.

Mumbo Jumbo Records
Tim Pare

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


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