Just about a year ago I had the opportunity to review Tyrone Wells' album, Remain. Tough to believe it's been twelve months, but now he's releasing an acoustic album called Metal & Wood that demonstrates how he continues to mature and develop as an artist.
Wells has once again brought compelling, socially-conscious lyrics in sync with rhythms and melodies that provide additional layers. Add to that his soulful voice and gift for putting his emotion into a performance and a pattern begins to surface between Remain and Metal & Wood. I've always found that when you strip an artist's music down to its bare, acoustic essentials, the artist's true talents shine through. Without a doubt, Wells is the real thing.
This album opens strong and doesn't let up. Yet when I started listening to the title song, Wells had me from his opening strum. Using traditional folk-guitar styles and merging them with a rock-and-pop edge, the song calls to listeners to make the world a better place for our children as we won't be here forever. "We took the music from the schools / And left the darkest gaping hole / Where will our children be / If they don't learn to sing / Millions of voices fallen silent til they're gone."
"Metal and Wood" really hits home for me as a parent of two young kids. As a product of the Colorado public school system, much of who I am derives from the art and music programs in my schools and the wonderful teachers who knew those programs were building more complete kids. I wonder where we'll be when the arts are totally gone. I'm not sure I want to find out as without music the world would be a very dreary place. Bravo to Wells for bringing up this issue, one that's quite close to my heart.