The first time I listened to Tied To A String, by Andy Nolte, I have-to admit I didn’t catch anywhere near the amount of beauty there is to behold on the Austin, TX based artist’s debut solo release. In fact, it still grows with every listen, but you have-to pull the trigger somewhere in the mix in-order to give a fresh perspective whenever an album this good comes along. There’s too much going on to describe it beyond some of what the songs contain, as they all have something substantial to offer. One thing is for sure, after taking it in enough times I am glad to say I will be looking forward to more from Nolte in the future.
Europa Tide opens with what must be heard to be believed there’s anything to follow it, because it plays almost like an entire album itself. It might be the most accessibly pleasing track but it’s plenty worth digressing because it’s hard to select which track really gets that honor. Kiss Me makes that effort with no hesitation and Nolte shows he can bounce back from any such opening salvo. You believe every word he’s singing, and the music is so precision it’s hard to turn a def ear to as he pays down an artistically world-class studio performance. Two songs in and you’re already knocked out.
L.A. Can Wait changes the mood up very nicely with Nolte starting to show similarities to artists like Randy Newman. It starts to beg the question at this point if this is a jazz, R&B, rock or all three. The answer is simple, it’s all three and much more, as Nolte somehow gets the best of all worlds which comes from being a multi-instrumentalist and working with only the best musicians around him. But as for this track, it goes the distance by getting into all kinds of subjects of casual and even intense conversation material of the current social environment. And just as much can be said for the exquisite title track Tied To A String.
How Can I is the first song that really grabbed my attention about Nolte himself as an artist, and on that note I went back and started over because I finally got where he’s coming from and everything clicked from there. I also hope you enjoy this great track, it’s quite the tasty ear-worm. Al that, whilst Take A Trip is about tasting another life in the concept of it all, which is almost like a mini-book you can easily imagine with or without music. The languid prowess of the also very musical songs really are its ultimate powers.
I also like everything with equal affection as it winds down with the flute featured These Days with its remarkably entrancing vocals and backing vocals. It reminds you to be thankful for this album and enjoy it while it lasts, as he deeply expresses. It leaves you Safe In My Dreams with one of the biggest musical efforts to back his voice, which is on par with the great storytellers, before topping it off with Synecdoche and proving what a fine artist he is.