I am in love with Tilly and the Wall.
After hearing their first album "Wild Like Children" for the first time around a year ago, I was instantly hooked by the group's unique style and carefree sound. It's not too often that a band decides to forego the typical drumset for a drum machine, but when a band passes up both of those items for a tap dancer and trash can lids...well, it's time to have some fun! That being said, "Bottoms of Barrels" is a lot of the same, and so much more.
Mike Mogis steps in this timme around as producer, and it shows. The man famous for working with bands like Bright Eyes and The Concretes has made Tilly and the Wall sound much more well-rounded and polished. No longer does Tilly and the Wall sound like a one-trick high school gimmick band. They sound legitimate now, yet they maintain their signature sound.
The album begins with "Rainbows in the Dark," the standard Tilly and the Wall song that doesn't stray much from "Fell Down the Stairs, "the lead-off track to their previous album. What is noticably different, however, is the lyrical content. Whereas "Wild Like Children" was essentially an album about kissing, dancing, and other fun "Child-ish" things, "Bottoms of Barrels" contains more adult lyrics and even more of an adult sound. "Love Song," for example, is perhaps Tilly and the Wall's first attempt at a true acoustic guitar ballad. It is not only more mature than any Tilly and the Wall song before it, but it is also beautiful, well-written, and utterly unique. This matured Tilly and the Wall is all over the place on the album, notably on "Lost Girls" and "Coughing Colors." Despite this, the band has managed to maintain what made them so attractive in the past.
"Bottoms of Barrels" is a really fun album. The first single "Bad Education," for example, perfectly displays how the band has matured musically, yet remained true to their fans and their sound. Additionally, songs like "Sing Songs Along," "Black and Blue," and "The Freest Man" will be stuck in your head for days (and perhaps longer, but I've only had the CD for a week). Don't be mistaken. Tilly and the Wall is back, and they are louder, happier, and more fun-loving than ever before. This album completely wallops their previous efforts, and I am still obsessed with them.
By all means, "Bottoms of Barrels" is an amazing album. Tilly and the Wall is one of the most underappreciated and unnoticed bands in music today. Hopefully, this album will help get them the admiration and attention that they undoubtedly deserve. Indeed, with such attractive melodies and beautiful lyrics, there's nothing on this album that should go unloved. "Bottoms of Barrels" is one of the best albums of 2006 thus far, and from the sound of it, Tilly and the Wall has much much more in store for us!!
Recommended for fans of Tilly and the Wall, Mates of State, The Boy Least Likely To and anyone who needs music to accompany their carefree activities, like playing in the sprinkler.
1. "Rainbows in the Dark"
2. "Bad Education"
3. "Love Song:
4. "Sing Songs Along"
5. "Black and Blue"
5 out of 5 Stars