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Tinted Windows CD - Review


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Got a promo copy of "Tinted Windows" last week. I remember quite a few posts about the band and their first single ("Kind Of A Girl") which was posted on-line awhile back.

First - Yeah, it's a very good solid debut album, with (to these ears) at least 3 killer power pop classics -the aforementioned single, the Cheap Trick-meets-Big Star "Nothing To Me" (co-written by Taylor Hanson with Schlesinger), and the one tune that sticks in your head immediately, "Doncha Wanna". The CD seems to improve with repeated listenings - definitely a good sign!

Most of the songs, penned of course by Adam S., are catchy, but without the lyrical quirkiness of most of his Fountains of Wayne work - mostly moon/june lyrics here, and not the oddball stories he likes to tell with Fountains. Suspect he's saving those for his main band. The band's playing is first-rate (surprising to me, since I think James Iha is usually a pretty colorless guitarist in Smashing Pumpkins - he's fine at belting out the power chords here and tossing in generally tasy licks/fills).

Taylor Hanson clearly has a great voice, but I'm not sure it's that well-suited to some of the material here. He comes across as trying to sound a little too edgy/snotty in places on some tunes, especially the slow ones, which isn't convincing, at least to me. Also, I wish they threw in a bit more group harmonies, which are great when they choose to use them. Bun E. is rock-steady, as he always is.

If there's one real disappointment to me, it's the ultra slick production, which makes some of the power pop anthems here sound more like the occasional poppy/catchy tunes and/or power ballads played by hair-dog, quasi-metal 80s and 90s bands....if Tinted Windows winds up in arenas, opening for huge acts, their material should come across well. I'd rather hear them in a small club live, which may not be possible due to their pasts.

A solid but unspectacular debut....it's on a par with most efforts by off-shoot bands of this type.

I'd guess it'll get 3-3.5 star ratings (maybe a 4) in the mags with 5 star rating systems, and maybe a 6-7 in the mags with 10 star systems.

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I saw that they're playing the Double Door in Chicago on the 30th of this month,but it was already sold out when I found out about it.

There's a place called the "Double Door" in Chicago?? I thought Seattle was the only place with a club with that kind of name("Triple Door")..
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"john o..do you think they will be compared with cheap trick??"

Absolutely! The fact that Taylor H. sounds more than a bit like Robin Zander in his highest range, plus the one tune ("Nothing To Me"), which sounds like either Cheap Trick writing/playing a Big Star song or Big Star doing Cheap Trick, will ensure this!

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BTW, I just heard that Rolling Stone gives this 3 stars....not surprising at all (See comments at the end of my original post). Personally, I'd rate it a very solid 4, but most critics in most music rags don't really give a rat's ass about 70's-styled power pop, unfortunately....

Played it one more time on the way into work this morning (Tony Cartmill, please note: Yes, I have a Gubment job, and I'm in here on Sunday!!! Economic Stimulus/ARRA-related nonsense.....and no, I do NOT get paid overtime, being a manager!). The CD definitely does grow on you, slick production and all.......

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That's another CD I will be getting. As a matter of fact....in the New York Daily News this past week....Jim Farber gave it a thumbs up and even mentioned them in reference to Raspberries. A must have for me. Thanks for the review John!

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