The day after his American Idol contract was up, season 10 alum Tim Halperin released his debut full-length album, Rise and Fall, on September 27.
Halperin began working on the album prior to his Idol journey in August of 2010. Working with producer, Jordan Critz, Halperin selected 13 tracks that he felt gave a well-rounded representation of himself.
“With this record, because it’s my first full-length album, I wanted to make sure that it was the most me. That it had songs on it that I felt like best represented who I am, not only as a songwriter, but as a person,” he explained to me during our interview earlier this week.
I think Halperin definitely accomplished that goal. Rise and Fall is comprised of songs about life, love, and heartbreak.
His first single, “The Last Song,” is currently in the top ten on the Singer/Songwriters Songs chart on iTunes. Halperin told me this past June that the tune was one of the first songs recorded for Rise and Fall about a year and a half ago.
“It just turned out really well, and I think that that song gives people a good picture of who I am, and also that my music is very honest and straightforward. I like to throw all my emotions on the table, because I think people can relate best to honest music,” he said.
Other standout tracks on Rise and Fall include “Memories on the Ground,” “Pretty Girls,” and “Bullet.”
When it comes to showing emotion, Halperin doesn’t pull any punches. He first introduced “Memories on the Ground” to his listeners earlier this year, when he included the personal track on his Acoustic Sessions EP. Showcasing the storytelling side of his songwriting style, the song, which almost feels like an open letter, takes the listening audience through a break-up.
Vocally, Halperin shows off his range going from softer notes during the verses up into his falsetto during the choruses. Between his vocal performance and the musical arrangement, the song comes across quite beautifully.
However, don’t let the slower tempo songs on the album fool you; Halperin can rock out with the best of them, especially on the guitar-driven track, ”Pretty Girls.” This song, along with the other uptempo tracks like “I Wanna Fall in Love” and “Crash Course to Hollywood” add to the overall emotional range of the album.
That said, the one track that really stuck out and left an impression on me was “Bullet.” From the lyrical content to the intense arrangement, the song shows a very different side of Halperin.
The arrangement of the song really gives you a sense about this doomed relationship that Halperin’s singing about. When the electric guitar kicks in on the second verse, it really takes the song up to the next level, making the sense of urgency that comes across impossible to miss.
Between Halperin’s distinctive voice and his earnest, heartfelt lyrics, Rise and Fall is easily one of the best albums I have heard this year.
Rise and Fall is available now on iTunes.
For more information on Tim Halperin, check out his official website.