Spun: Simon TJ

By Heather J. Rideout

Each Sparrow is local talent Simon TJ’s first CD. With this release, the lyricist, pianist and vocalist creates a harmonious yet dark sound using only a piano and his voice.

The songs on this pop/soft-rock album explore the contrasting themes of love and loss, and existence and death. On a positive note, his voice is uniquely expressive. His sound is crisp and clear and the lyrics are easily understood, which is a good thing, because he has a lot to say. The lyrics are the most striking feature of this album because they are heartfelt, raw, and thought-provoking. The piano accompaniment is harmonious and does not overpower TJ’s soulful voice. Unfortunately, the overall tone of the album is melancholy and bleak. It borders on spiritual, but is uninspiring — Simon TJ is like a dark Barry Manilow.

The first song, “Wanna Feel Alright,” is the most upbeat of the album. The rest of the songs descend in mood to become downright depressing. An example is the song “The Blinding Light” — its main subject matter is the white light one sees when “crossing over.” These songs are mournful and talk too much about death and the loss of love, but if you are in the mood to contemplate your own existence, then give this album a listen.

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