Review- “The Other Side”- Tim Chaisson

reviewed by Michael Thomas

In an era where it’s fashionable to craft layers and layers of meaning into music lyrics, it’s always nice to hear someone who sings straight from the heart. This is Tim Chaisson’s fifth release and you’ll have no trouble at all trying to figure out what the songs are about.

And it’s important that these songs are accessible- Chaisson has apparently toned down the instrumentation a little to make his vocals and lyrics front and centre. From his songs you can expect usually some basic guitar and the odd bit of fiddle.

Chaisson also stays true to his PEI roots on this album. The most obvious reference to his home province is in “Long Road of Love” where he sings of “The saddest girl in PEI.” Slightly less obvious (but still visible) is the east-coast flavour of the album; the strings in “Til the Sun Comes Up” are definitely reminiscent of the Maritimes. Or take the analogy Chaisson makes in “When Your Boat.” “When your ain’t risin’ with the tides/I’ll throw you a line, take you to a light,” sings Chaisson.

But as I said earlier, what makes this album nice is its pure honesty. Opener “Beat This Heart” couldn’t make a message of being hopelessly in love any more simple. It features at least one pretty nice line: “Call me lazy but there’s little I can do.” Or even just the heartfelt way Chaisson phrases his words is nice. You can hear the passion in “Come Clean” as he sings “I miss you so much it’s killing me.” While it could be a cheesy line the sincerity behind the phrase is genuine.

I was also pleasantly surprised by Chaisson’s vocal range- he reaches some pretty high notes in “The Healing,” among other songs.

What I really liked was when Chaisson was able to balance a fun melody with heartfelt lyrics. The album’s title track does this very well with a faster-than-normal rhythm and lines like “I don’t wanna lose you/I don’t wanna miss you like I do.”

In short, honesty is the best policy, and that policy seems to benefit Chaisson well on this album.

The Other Side can be purchased via Tim Chaisson’s website.

Top Tracks: “Beat Your Heart”; “The Otherside”; “Speak Easier”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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