Tender Forever – Wider

Tender Forever – Wider / 2007 K / 12 Tracks / http://www.takemybreathaay.net / http://www.krecs.com /

You know, the cover of “Wider” does not immediately give individuals a good sense of what the album will ultimately sound like. The lead singer is sitting in front of a cardboard (or paper) representation of a fire, in an meditative pose. When one actually puts the CD in, the cover of the album actually begins to represent the style of music that issues forth from “Wider”. “Tiny Heart and Clever Hand” has an emotive, quiet style of vocals that stumble into catchy harmonies at times, while the instrumentation is antiseptic, open, electronic, and acts like the wide open spaces that are present on the front cover of the CD.

“Wider” shows that Tender Forever can come out of the starting gate with an album that is at least as mature as anything that acts like Fischerspooner or similarly-“old” bands could create. The fact that this disc is only Tender Forever’s second album should not dissuade anyone from picking up “Wider”; in fact, it should urge on more purchases as Tender Forever can only go up from here. “No One Will Tell No One For Sure” starts off pensively but rapidly moves into a twinkling, bright track. The song has enough going for it in an instrumental sense that vocals are not necessarily needed. However, the inclusion of vocals during this track is what is needed to bring the song to the next level. “Wider” succeeds on all counts due to the strength of all the album’s constituent parts, whether it be the vocals, instruments, the arrangements, or how each part works together.

It is perhaps the synthesizer opening to “Folded Papers” that will infect listeners’ heads most successfully on “Wider”. During “Folded Papers”, a number of harmonies present themselves to listeners. These different harmonies, different layers, and different sounds are what make this track special. While Tender Forever may never get larger than rotation on alternative radio, the album is strong enough to merit sustained and continual listening. Imagine an act like The Sounds, if they were given valium and the ability to create dissonance and make it still fit into the larger scheme of things. I know that “Wider” will be in my CD change for a while to come, if not for the memorable instrumental sections, for the catchy and fun vocals that are found throughout each of the disc’s 12 cuts.

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Rating: 7.0/10
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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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