Siren’s Song by Marty Tanger is the first singer/songwriter release for the artist, after having already released two previous albums of instrumental collections. Recorded at Blackwood Recording in New Jersey, Tanger chose a more organic approach for the album, using live versions of the vocals and harmonies and most of the basic guitar tracks.
The overall feel is genuine and there’s no lacking in production value; the sounds are complete. Tanger has an old-school vibe about him and his vocals and harmonies are reminiscent of The Eagles. His voice is clear and simple which pairs well with the intricacies of his songwriting. There is a slight country vibe to his music but it is not overpowering to those who may not be into that genre. The songs are approachable for all musical tastes.
The album starts with “I’m Losing My Mind” which was my favorite tracks on the album. It's a high energy song with twangy guitar and a catchy chorus. I was quickly impressed with Tanger’s songwriting skills. His lyrics are understated but powerful with almost every line standing out to me. Every song after this one gets a little slower and softer and I found myself waiting for another “I’m Losing My Mind” that never came. I think a better placement would have been halfway through but who listens to albums in order anymore anyway?
“Since You Went Away” has a pretty acoustic guitar intro that leads into a sad longing verse. The lyrics are beautiful; “Thoughts of you dance softly in the emptiness. But your sweet shadow still remains.” The country vibe can be heard and increases with the next track “Flying With Honky Tonk Angels” although not as much as the title would have you believe. There are very pretty harmonies in this one with lyrics that again express longing and regret.
The title track “Siren’s Song” is about not being able to give up on someone and again is soft and sad with some pretty angel-like background vocals that creatively gives the impression of detachment. The final two songs, “That Thin Bent Line” and “Why’d You Go Away So Long?” sound very similar. Again, the slow tempo and sadness continue, although it seems to work with the intricate instrumental backing.
I enjoyed Siren's Song largely due in part to Tanger’s poetic lyrics. I do think the album would have flowed a little better with more upbeat songs like the first one but I understand why the heaviness of the words needed a more subdued foundation. I suspect his sound will evolve and I look forward to hearing it.
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