Rock

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Emily Ritchie

An Ac­tor Re­pairs Tim Rogers Four Four Ly­ing be­neath the in­tox­i­cat­ing rock ’n’ roll swag­ger of You Am I front­man Tim Rogers is an in­nate flair for the dra­matic, and he fully em­braces his un­yield­ing pas­sion for ro­man­ti­cism and the­atrics in his lat­est solo project, An Ac­tor Re­pairs. The 12-track re­lease, orig­i­nally in­tended to be a stage mu­si­cal, is writ­ten through the prism of an old thes­pian as the cur­tain falls on his fi­nal per­for­mance. It’s an in­trigu­ing nar­ra­tive to fol­low, es­pe­cially through such an un­usual mu­si­cal ve­hi­cle. An Ac­tor Re­pairs isn’t all easy lis­ten­ing. It doesn’t of­fer a pol­ished sound, is awk­ward and flat-sound­ing at times, and Rogers’ voice comes across as shaky and flawed. This adds to the raw, unconventional char­ac­ter of the al­bum and makes it all the more in­trigu­ing and en­joy­able. Rogers touches on nos­tal­gia, pride, re­gret and the over­whelm­ing grief that comes with let­ting go of your past. The al­bum be­gins with a cho­rus of ef­fer­ves­cent fe­male voices on The Bug and ends with a rous­ing folk jig on Cars and Girls. Youth is a coun­try-tinged bal­lad, while Round the Bend is a gritty soul track with an elec­tri­fy­ing pulse. Age (A Cou­ple of Swells) is a touch­ing pi­ano tune com­plete with clar­inet and dou­ble bass, and The Um­pire’s Son is a Punch Broth­ers-es­que brand of coun­tryclas­si­cal. A stand­out is the touch­ing duet be­tween Rogers and Mel­bourne singer­song­writer Clio Ren­ner on folk bal­lad One More Late Night Phone Con­ver­sa­tion. There are hints that the pro­tag­o­nist is Rogers him­self — “tonight I’ll be the guy in You Am I” — on For­give­ness, per­haps an ode to Rogers’ own fi­nal cur­tain call.

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