Thursday, February 26, 2015

'Til Tuesday - Voices Carry

Today (February 26th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Voices Carry, the debut album from the Boston-based band 'Til Tuesday. This 1985 record reached number 19 on the US Billboard Album chart, with a thirty-one week total run. The original line-up of the band included Aimee Mann (vocals and bass as well as lyricist on all the songs on the debut), Robert Holmes (guitar and backing vocals), Joey Pesce (keyboards and backing vocals), and Michael Hausman (drums and percussion).

Side one opens with "Love in a Vacuum". I like the opening guitar riff and percussion; the clipped pace is catchy. The chorus has some nice layers both musically and vocally too. Lyrically, it tells of a relationship where things have changed and the love is gone.

"Looking Over My Shoulder", the second single, stalled at number 61 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Mann's vocals here on the verses are different, deeper, than on some of the other songs. It definitely gives the track a different kind of vibe for me. Here, the woman is still hung up on her past relationship and clinging to the shadows of the past.

Next up is the mid-tempo "I Could Get Used to This", an upbeat song about those early days of a relationship when everything is so magical and exciting. Is she willing to take that plunge with someone new?

"No More Crying" looks at the lonely corner of a break-up. The music, while subdued, is not all that sad.

The lead single was "Voices Carry" which hit number 15 in Australia and Canada, number 14 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, and number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The music video which played in heavy rotation on MTV helped propel the song to its status as an iconic 80's hit. The woman here is ready to commit to a relationship, but the guy only wants her on his terms, on his time-table. There are obvious hints that she is actually a side affair for him.

Side two begins with "Winning the War", a mid-tempo song about a relationship that has gone on a lot longer than it should have. Now there is pride and egos involved as they struggle to be the winner in a situation where there clearly is none. I like the extended instrumental intro.

"You Know the Rest" is about a woman who has fallen into a predictable pattern when it comes to falling in and out of love. The slower paced rhythm creates a melancholy mood.

"Maybe Monday" is a waiting game by the phone. When will he call? Will he ever call?

The B-side to the first single was the bouncy, mid-tempo "Are You Serious?". Again, we are dealing with a complex relationship as a woman calls up a guy who would rather hide behind silence than speak with her.

"Don't Watch Me Bleed" touches upon that exact moment when a couple splits. She does not want him to linger, to see her fall completely apart.

The album closes with "Sleep", a dreamy musical number about someone who is on the verge of death. My impression that the "he" who is waiting is God.

Outside of the singles on the radio back in the 80's, most of Voices Carry was a new listening experience for me with this review. The title track is clearly the high point of the record for me, but some of the other deeper cuts also connected with me on a first listen through. This is one I will have to revisit again in the future.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Bogardus said...

That song always brings me back to high school.