Mary Timony | The Shapes We Make (Kill Rock Stars)

cd_timonyLyricism, voice melodies, and Timony's more innovative sounds have taken a backseat in Shapes, but this filler-free record is quality nonetheless and worthy of multiple plays.

 

 

 

 

Mary Timony is back with her fourth solo effort, The Shapes We Make. Thirteen years after her debut EP with Helium, Pirate Prude, Timony maintains her '90s feel, her talky singing style, and her well-assembled instrumentation. Lyricism, voice melodies, and her more innovative sounds have taken a backseat in Shapes, but this filler-free record is quality nonetheless and worthy of multiple plays.

Two cuts from the album are currently featured on MySpace, the bouncy standout "Sharpshooter" and the near instrumental "Rockman," which begins with a meandering one-minute guitar intro, shifts into a Sleater-Kinney pace, and comes to a halt before the 2:30 outro.

Many moments on the album draw comparisons to Sonic Youth. Although Sonic Youth has more than a decade more experience, they both have been able to expand on their catalogues and make it work in 2007, rather than recreating their sound. Songs on Shapes aren't as fun as Helium's "Pat's Trick," and her minimalist lyrics haven taken a downward turn from "Pat's Trick"; for example, she goes from "At the May Fair with your long-ass, curly hair" to "Pause/Off"'s "My reaction, to your faction/ Go back to school and learn your fractions." 

Timony is able to strike a chord with poetry on the album's most impressive song by matching its lyrical content to the tones of wilderness:

The townspeople gathered around the square
To see the tightrope walker fight the bear
I am the bear with the dullest of claw
Made to fight, this life
On a rope of meaningless laws

While some attractive elements of Timony's prior work could have spiced up the LP, nothing is overdone and the few holes can be found. Timony and the gang take their show on the road May 25 in Austin, showcasing the shapes they have made. If you are looking for another Timony treat, try their exclusive track off The Play Cool Songs for Kids compilation, with their peppy contribution, "Clap Your Hands." The compilation also features Mirah, Mudhoney, the Cassettes, the Supersuckers, and more. B | Joseph O'Fallon

RIYL: Sonic Youth, Helium, Kristen Hersh, Kim Deal

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