Tempus - Lie Like We Do

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Euphonious Reocrds
Catalog Number: TEMPUS6170
Format: CD
Total Time: 36:45:00

Tempus is a young band with a mature sound.

The band members - who were just 17 when they wrote and recorded most of the music on Lie Like We Do - claim influences from the Dave Matthews Band, Yes, and Rush. There's not much Yes or Rush in their music, but if you can imagine a fresher, more folksy Dave Matthews you'll have a good idea of Tempus' sound. Chris Harvey's voice is a Matthews clone right down to that occasional slip into falsetto. His delivery is a bit pitchy in parts, but has a smooth, velvet-underground tone that belies his youth.

Good songwriting is Tempus's biggest strength. All songs have great melodies, and hooks with barbs that won't let go - although the lyrics range from very simple through to competent.

The 8 songs on the very short 36-minute album are between 3 and 6 minutes long, and range from simple acoustic folk rock through to a richer, more progressive fusion sound - and it was those fuller sounds that caught my attention. The sound on this album is defined by the acoustic guitar and the vocals , but the occasional introduction of keyboards, violin, saxophone and cello add welcome textures to music and should be used more often.

The standout track is ?Weak By Choice." It is heavier than most of the other songs, yet the elegant piano passages that weave their way through the whole piece are simple, melodic and engaging. There is a heavy bass line, an interesting syncopated rhythm and a jazzy guitar sound. Yet the singing and the backing vocals are consistent and provide effective cohesion. Pity about that sudden ending, though, like a stop sign in the middle of an Interstate. A fade-out or some kind of finale always serves a song, and particularly an album's closing track, better than an abrupt end.

?NSDS? is the longest track at just 6 minutes. It is also the heaviest courtesy of a distorted lead guitar, strong bass, and a long, welcome instrumental passage.

Lie Like We Do has all the components of a good debut album: It is raw and underproduced, optimistic, energetic, and unconventional - and it has great promise. These artists are much older and wiser today (19 and 20) and Tempus now has a keyboardist and an (electric) guitarist. So I find myself impatient to hear their next album, which is in the works.

Who Am I (3:43) / Shackle (3:58) / Torn for Two (5:27) / Different Places Now (4:23) / Watching the Grass Grow (4:12) / NSDS (6:04) / Outside (4:22) / Weak By Choice (4:36)

Chris Harvey - accoustic guitar, vocals
Jon Appleton - bass
Jose Rosario - drums

Guest Artists:

John Weed - string arrangements
Valerie Thompson - cello
Lauren Caso, Mary Elizabeth Holby, Brandon Potteiger - violins
Brendan Carniaux - saxophone
Christopher McDonnell - backing vocals, keyboards

What The Hell Is Going On (EP) (2000)
Lie Like We Do (2001)
Keep Burning (EP) (2004)
Got A Good Feeling (2007)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: November 16th 2003
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website: www.tempusband.com
Hits: 599
Language: english


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