REVIEW: TUESDAY THE SKY – “The Blurred Horizon”
Music is used for many things, to hype you up, lift you up, fit your mood, or simply be a distraction from normal life. Or it can be used to help you relax, and sit back, and that is the category that I find Tuesday The Sky, and the new album ‘The Blurred Horizon.’ This is the second release from the band that is a solo project by guitarist Jim Matheos of Fates Warning fame and settles neatly in the ambient/light post-rock genre. This album seems to be made for lazy weekend afternoons, and that is the manner in which I will discuss it.
I’ll say upfront that there isn’t a ton of variety or dynamics throughout the album. The music swells a few times, but on a whole, it is a very laid-back, chill album, but that is exactly what it’s meant to be, so I don’t consider that a bad thing. The album starts with “Half Remembered,” the beginning of which reminds me a bit of Bill Frisell, but without his signature touch, and sound. Starting with a slowly strummed guitar without any distortion the music feels like it belongs in a western, played quietly in the beginning as the camera pans over a quiet prairie night. It does pick up some in the latter portion, with the addition of drums, but the energy remains low-key. The drums on this song, as well as the few others to include any were handled by Gavin Harrison (King Crimson, Porcupine Tree) whose drumming is always on point for whatever is needed.
“Near Light” is formatted much the same way, although about four minutes in the music picks up a bit of speed, and we hear one of the few times on the album a bit of a guitar solo, and even the slight hint of distortion, it’s a nice touch and serves to break up laidback nature of the song, but it only last about 30 seconds before the song ends.
I’m not going to go into detail repeatedly about most of the songs, because really they all blend together into the background, and there isn’t very much interesting to say about anything, nor is there anything that really jumps out at me to talk about. The whole album is certainly very pleasant, but it’s mostly background music, unintrusive, and inoffensive. It’s ideal to have on while reading a book, as it gives the ears something to do, while not distracting you from your reading. The one real exception being “Hypneurotic” which kicks off with more aggressive drumming, and reaches into actual rock territory, it’s one of the standouts on what is otherwise a very nondistinct album.
The final song “Everything Is Free” deserves mention as well, because it is the only song on the album that is not an instrumental. Jim brings in guest vocalist Tim Bowness (no-man), which is a cover of a Gillian Welch, and David Rawlings song. It’s mostly a post-breakup type song, with the title giving the obvious subject matter. It is sung in his typical slow, low-key, “asthmatic” style. It’s an ok song, but like most of the album, hardly remarkable.
‘The Blurred Horizon’ is ultimately a very laid-back affair, how much one enjoys it will therefore depend on their enjoyment of ambient, and low-key post-rock. With his Tuesday The Sky solo project, Jim Matheos can show another, more introspective side of his personality, and as such should be of interest to his fans. I’ll probably save this one for a quiet afternoon with nothing going on, but fans of the first album will likely enjoy this one just as much.