Review by Shannon Shumaker
If People On Vacation’s new album, The Chronicles Of Tim Powers is anything, it’s real. Though it’s definitely easy to enjoy The Chronicles Of Tim Powers! on a strictly musical basis, the honest songwriting and personal yet relatable lyrics on this album are what makes it one of the strongest releases of 2014. It’s easy to get lost in the catchy melodies, hooks and fun choruses, but the real strength in The Chronicles Of Tim Powers is in its amazing, honest lyricism.
The first track on the album, “Don’t Ask The Question,” starts off slow but picks up quickly with that trademark energy that can be found in any People On Vacation track. It’s honestly hard to find anything wrong with this song - it’s the perfect intro to the album. “I’ve Got Your Back” is a more laid back, almost doo-wop sounding follow up track, but again, it’s super catchy and still fairly energetic. The lyricism on this track is also incredibly strong, just a hint of what the rest of the album holds. The subject of the track is lighter and more upbeat which is perfect for the doo-wop sound in the chorus, as well.
“All I Ever Really Wanted” is a total ballad. The harmonies on this track are spot-on and the simple acoustic guitar is perfect, all wrapped up with an Eagles-esque chorus. Lyrically, “All I Ever Really Wanted” is easily one of the strongest tracks on the album with lines like, “I dug so deep but I couldn’t find the words to say,” and “Do you ever wonder what happened with me and you?” which are incredibly relatable no matter the audience.
The best thing about The Chronicles Of Tim Powers is definitely it’s realness. This album is art imitating life - there are both highs and lows on The Chronicles Of Tim Powers, just like there are in real life. Some of the happier, more upbeat tracks are “You May Not Believe In God,” “I Might Change My Mind,” and “Punk Rock World” while some of the sadder tracks are definitely, “All I Ever Really Wanted” and the emotional final track, “Journey To The End.” Even the “sadder” songs on this album are catchy, though. People On Vacation manage to take serious subjects and tracks that otherwise would have been slow and sad and make them sing-along worthy despite their subject matter, and that alone is enough to promote a message of hope with this album. The Chronicles Of Tim Powers is about brushing things off and moving on. If anything should be taken away from this album, it’s that life goes on and things will get better, and that message can definitely be taken away from tracks like “We Shoulda Made It” and “We All Want What We Can’t Have.”
There really isn’t a bad song on The Chronicles Of Tim Powers. Every single track on this album serves a purpose. Each track tells a personal story while still remaining not only relatable, but also catchy, and that’s what makes The Chronicles Of Tim Powers so incredible. This is an album written by a group of musicians that don’t take themselves too seriously, regardless of the subject matter, and it makes for an incredible listen. The songwriting is solid and catchy, the melodies are sing-along worthy and the vocal harmonies throughout this record are absolutely flawless, and on top of all of that (as if this album couldn’t get any better) it’s relatable. Sometimes it’s hard to find an album that is both strong musically and lyrically, but The Chronicles Of Tim Powers is the real deal. From the first upbeat track to the final ballad, this album is a journey well-worth listening to.
Listen to "All I Ever Really Wanted" and "We Shoulda Made It"