Strand Of Oaks – Hard Love {album review)

by Woody on February 17, 2017


As Tim Showalter’s stature in the music world has grown; a steady stream of very interesting pieces are written about him. During the release of HEAL, Steven Hyden did a phenomenal piece on Grantland ; as did Spin. With the success of HEAL and the upcoming release of Dark Love, Stereogum did a piece that left me exhausted. These pieces portray a conflicted version of Tim; a man stuck between a full-fledged rock star and a homebody happy to hang with his wife at home.

And that struggle is at the center of what makes Hard Love such a worthy encore to HEAL. From On The Hill, a track inspired by an acid-induced awakening that changed the direction of this album to the album’s emotional centerpiece – Cry; a piano ballad that sees Tim pouring his heart out; there seems to be an inner struggle on what Tim wants with his life. And it is all out there for you, the listener, to disect.

And then there’s Taking Acid And Talking To My Brother, an eight minute opus dealing a medical emergency his brother suffered in Indiana. As Tim was trying to balance the hedonistic mind-altering life of a rock and roll star with the day to day domestic responsibilities of making a marriage work; his life was turned upside down due to his brother’s ailment. Spending two weeks sleeping in the hospital as his brother lay in a coma was as his press release stated, “represents Showalter’s last-ditch attempt at reconciling his personal life and his impulsions.”

To me, Tim is a larger than life rock ‘n’ roll personality but does he want to be. Sharing that struggle with us in a such a raw manner is what makes his music so special.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Strand of Oaks is here

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