It's rare to find a pop artist who can also write convincing lyrics in a sophomore album. So many new artists have managed to pull together amazing freshman releases — the contents of everything in their lives leading up to that point. But to be able to pull together a solid second album sometimes seems too difficult and quality falls to the wayside. Tough to cram a lifetime into a year or two, with so many other things screaming for attention - producers, concerts, press, fans...
So to listen to Tyrone Wells' Remain and hear so many solid songs with thought- and emotion-provoking lyrics... it just doesn't happen often.
Wells worked with a variety of artists, songwriters, and musicians to craft a set of twelve solid tracks. In the UK, he worked with Martin Terefe (who has worked with Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall, and James Morrison) and Iain Archer (UK artist and Snow Patrol songsmith). In the US, he worked with Tim Myers (former member of OneRepublic), David Hodges (former member of Evanescence), and Matt Scannell (Vertical Horizon). As a fan of Mraz, Tunstall, Snow Patrol, Evanescence, and Vertical Horizon — I have to say this is quite a pedigree of talent.
In 2007, Universal Republic released his album Hold On, which was originally his first independent record (following Snapshot in 2003 and Close: Live at McClain's in 2005. Universal Republic saw the opportunity to release the album more widely as his first major label record.
Songs from these albums have found their way into film and television soundtracks as well, so he's getting some great exposure. So far he's had tracks show up in One Tree Hill, Everyone's Hero, Rescue Me, Ghost Whisperer, Numb3rs and many others. I suspect that we'll hear many of the tracks from Remain in popular media as well.
For me, what works for Wells on Remain is first and foremost the lyrics. And with those impressive lyrics, you then have his solid soulful voice that just lends each word credence. Add to that great arrangements utilizing acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, and a well engineered pop feel, and you have a heck of a musical offering.