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Wednesday, July 14, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 156

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He'll Be Bach
Tal Bachman fails to reach potential on debut

Tal Backman

Tal Bachman

Columbia Records

12 tracks

Running Time: 46:33

Grade: C+

By Rattaya Nimibutr
Daily Cougar Staff

Tal Bachman's name is not exactly a household one, but his crooning voice on the radio hit "She's So High" is already gaining positive attention and plenty of airtime on local radio stations 104 KRBE and 107.5 KTBZ.

Think of Elliott Smith, if you can, but just not as depressing and somewhat more interesting as far as guitar riffs go.

However, despite his immense potential, Bachman's self-titled 12-track CD begins like any other solo-guitar-guy's, with mediocre lyrics. Too bad it ends the same way.

Starting with "Darker Side of Blue," Bachman initiates the whole album with a typical rockfest. All his tracks are the same and never really give Bachman's talent a chance to shine.

When you read his lyrics in the liner notes, they sound like a beautiful poem. But when the music hits, they just sound too sappy and juvenile.

Bachman's lyrics are pretty much repeated in every song, and lines, like "Every time that I look into your eyes/ I know love never dies" from the track "You're My Everything," permeate the record.

At least this artist explores his writing talent on his own rather than relying on others to do the hard work for him.

The album either contains songs that praise the girl, almost to the point of stalking her in "Beside You," or songs that whine about how she's hurt him such as "Like Nobody Loves Me," where the relationship simply dies.

The whole album could survive as the soundtrack of some soap opera, but Bachman does it all with good intentions.

In the meantime he slashes with "You Don't Know What It's Like," a track about, well, what the title says. Then there's "Looks Like Rain," one of the few songs Bachman shines on.

"Strong Enough" questions the possibility of being with someone you'd like to be with, while "Romanticide" screams because of the downfall of a relationship.

"I Am Free," the last track, continues the whining theme, but does establish Bachman as an artist with great potential.

Bachman is aided by solid instrumentation and proves he's better than many of the pop acts out there today because his music actually has some feeling behind it.

So is the album worth it or should you simply settle for buying the single "She's So High?" Well, if you like solo musicians who can write songs that make girls weak in the knees, Bachman might be on your list.

Rest assured Bachman is crossing his fingers that he will not be a one-hit wonder. While that may be true for this record, look for this artist to do much better in the future -- once he leaves the sappy lyrics behind.


 
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