October 30, 2017 Tim Myers – Portraits (Album Review)
A founding member of the multi-platinum band OneRepublic, Tim Myers is an accomplished creator with over a thousand major musical placements in feature films, television shows, and commercials. Artist, songwriter, and producer, Myers is about to place himself front-and-center with his solo debut, Portraits, which is scheduled for release in February of 2018 thanks to Palladium Records.
In his work behind-the-scenes, Myers has created hits with Capital Cities, Five for Fighting, Hailee Steinfeld, Ke$ha, and many others. His solo single “Hills to Climb” earned over 12 million streams and his music, highlighted in multiple feature films and trailers, has orchestrated commercial campaigns for such brands as Apple, Pepsi, Coke, Toyota, and Target, plus top television shows and promos on all major networks. Now is the moment of truth: the twelve-track Portraits presents Singer-Songwriter Myers through snippets of stories and sincere odes, personal glances into the life of the musician.
Portraits opens to the Indie Pop “Lover My Love,” dance-y catchiness that is an ode to a lover who has struck through the darkness to celebrate the light. It flows into the electronic beats and whistling that comprise “18,” a remembrance of days long past. There is a sparkly texture to the sonics on “Tana (Sorry Don’t Live Here)” – which features British Artist James Arthur – and while Myers takes a funkier approach on “The King,” the end result is a track that sounds eerily similar to Imagine Dragons’ “Believer.”
If Myers wants to succeed as a solo artist, he is going to have to step out from behind the overbearing electronic beats and craft songs that are lyrically unique and speak to a wider audience than the 15-20 set. “Hero” is a perfect example of this, with big dance beats and completely banal lyrics that are meant to be somewhat inspiring (“Don’t need another zero / I’m looking for a hero”). It is followed with more of the same: the Justin Bieber-esque “My Name (Self-Portrait),” rebels in skinny black jeans on “James Dean” (Taylor Swift, anyone?), and Hip-Hop booty shaker “Bella.”
“Born for This (The Runner)” is the gateway drug of this album: its pseudo-Pop Folk feel is buried deep inside an attempt at being anthemic and empowering that somehow falls flat. There is, however, some really good news: Myers is about to shed his electronic façade and come front-and-center for some real music. He opens his wings to soar on the Folk-tinged “Mother,” a gently swaying ode that features the superb Phillip Phillips. Delicate, stripped-down “Portrait of Home” is another sincere moment that feels like a 1960s sing-along and is an absolute highlight of this collection. Sadly, just when finally hitting his stride, Myers ends with the equally pared-down little ditty “Daughter,” an adorable ode to Myers’ “precious diamond and pearl.”
Myers is at his best when you strip away the Hip Hop beats and get to the man beneath. In his Folk-tinged and most sincere moments, there is a delicate simplicity to his music that is honest and intriguing; this is where Tim Myers truly shines. Unfortunately, Portraits is a schizophrenic mishmash of largely borrowed sounds that does not truly hit its original stride until its final moments. With hope that in the future Myers can embrace his stripped-down, Folk sensibilities and tell grander tales, CrypticRock gives Tim Myers’ Portraits 3.5 of 5 stars.