Plumbiferous Media

It Was Easy – Title Tracks

Feb 18th 2010
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It Was Easy - Title TracksTitle Tracks
It Was Easy
Score: 80

Title Tracks is the solo project of John Davis, formed in 2008, a few years after the breakup of his earlier group, Q and Not U. With Title Tracks’ debut LP, Davis demonstrates experience gained from seven years with Q and Not U as well as his own creativity, combined to create a truly interesting musical presence which is uniquely his own. It Was Easy is a great debut, and though it suffers from certain flaws, is on the whole a very enjoyable album.

While Title Tracks does seem to have a soft spot for tracks that alternate between two modestly different, yet still completely connected sections, tracks on It Was Easy are, perhaps ignoring structure, impressively diverse. One would be hard pressed to find two even fairly similar tracks on the album, given that tracks span the entire range from pure rock to funk to Tex-Mex and back, and tracks by no means stop at genre in order to achieve diversity. Throughout It Was Easy, Davis toys with mood, instrumentation, and most of all, rhythm. Each instrument is given its chance to shine, and at least as importantly, they sound amazing when doing so.

It Was Easy is, bluntly, a wonderfully designed album. Not only is it very, very diverse, but it still feels like one well connected album beneath all of its genre melding and relatively subtle experimentation. Furthermore, the recording quality is truly excellent. It’s not incredibly crisp and it doesn’t have a huge amount of depth, but it’s warm, and more than anything else, very, very natural sounding. It might not have been the best for most other albums, but for the content on It Was Easy it’s near perfect.

It’s obvious from the first moment of It Was Easy that Davis’ time with Q and Not U (on which all three members shared vocal duties) has given him a good bit of experience as a vocalist, as he fits his voice expertly with the musical direction of the album – harsher and more “rockish” on “Every Little Bit Hurts,” while much softer on later track “Hello There.” Davis’ voice occasionally slips into a repetitive style, especially on (unsurprisingly) the repetitive parts of the album, such as certain sections of “Black Bubblegum,” and is sometimes accentuated (thankfully infrequently) by a regrettable falsetto. At the same time, however, the well-crafted rhythmic style with which he accompanies the best tracks makes such weaker moments seem much less important by comparison.

Lyrically, It Was Easy is a bit of a mixed bag. On the best tracks, the lyrics range from benign to well-written. Lines such as “Piles of Paper”‘s “Don’t make me go there / I know what I’ll find / Another one just like you” work quite well, especially with the energy Davis puts into them. On the other hand, however, there are certainly less well-written lines. Probably the best example of this is the more than slightly inane, “Just keep chewing your black, black bubble gum / You’re still number one / Even if you share some,” and it does not help that lines like this are often repeated far too many times.

It Was Easy is a great album. There are certain problems, the most prominent being the relatively uninteresting lyrics, but there is really very little to criticize. Unfortunately, this does not mean the album is perfect. There are a healthy number of terrific sections, but for the most part, tracks range from good to very good. It Was Easy is enjoyable all the way through, in fact, there are little to no overall bad spots. As a whole, It Was Easy is quite good, just not extraordinary.

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