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Tim Houlihan’s ‘Another Orion’ brings together 10 mainstream ballads with broad potential appeal.

Music Review: Tim Houlihan – ‘Another Orion’

Tim Houlihand 'Another Orion'Americana singer and songwriter Tim Houlihan released in September 2015 a 10-track album titled Another Orion. With the help of Todd Lester (drums), Jon James Benson (guitar), and Paul Madsen (bass), Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Houlihan has put together a series of short stories set in songs that are mainstream enough to appeal to a large audience.

The midtempo country ballad “I Get Lonesome, Too” features a rich and soothing melody combined with warm, and inviting vocals highlighted with delicate harmonies that do well to carry descriptive lyrics. The blues-flavoured country of “Going to the Country” has an ever-accelerating tempo with tongue-in-cheek lyrics that are delivered with vocals that are quite serious, which might make listeners do a double take. The contrast, after all, between an amusing line such as “Goodbye country living/And all the hipsters on the scene” and the seemingly unaffected vocals is intriguing, to say the least. The guitar work is particularly striking here.

The uptempo, country-flavoured rock track “Send Me Back to You” is lively and joyful yet remains restrained, which gives it an overall calm feeling. The altenative rock “Beneath the Surface of the Well” is also country-flavoured, as is “Fair Retreat”. Both this track and “What’s Gonna Happen to Me” are tense and darker than the others on the album.

The alternative rock “What’s Gonna Happen to Me” is crisp, implacably driving ahead in its attempt to address the question embodied in the title. The adult contemporary “Some Kind of Mystery” is a soothing and slow ballad, sweet and emotive in its delivery. “Another Orion” is a quiet and dreamy Americana-inspired melody which, combined with a gentle vocal delivery, underlines the poetry in the lyrics.

Another Orion features 10 easy-on-the-ears numbers that combine into a relaxing, wholesome whole. Tracks are available for streaming on Bandcamp. More information about Houlihan is available on his official website as well as on his Facebook page.

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