Tim Easton is on a mission to expose the new generational truth. On American Fork, the Nashville-based, Akron, OH-raised americana crooner peels back the values people now accept and ignore in modern culture. However, the album is not a complete critique on the millennial population. Easton shifts the focus to himself; what he has learned and what we can learn from him. It’s a storyteller’s album through and through.
Easton exemplifies Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Tweedy vocal stylings throughout the record. He perfects classic Americana, again, rubbing elbows with the sounds of Wilco from the 90s until today. But he really makes the music pop with funky horns and organ on the opening track “Right Before Your Eyes.” This is the song that kicks of the culture critique theme. He encourages us to take a step back, evaluate what is “happening before your own eyes,” and change your habits for the better. He hits the nail on the head in saying we get caught up in social media and believe what is delivered to us while a wasted life is happening all the while. In a sea of meaningless lyrics on the Top 40 charts, this is the truth that needs to be heard.
The album slips back into Americana with tinges of country elements on “On My Way” and “Killing “Time.” He infuses lap steel guitar and a shift in vocal style to that of a more twangy persuasion. On “Killing Time,” he’s educating listeners again, but this time on what we can learn from him. It’s okay to think what you’re doing when you’re young is cool, but if it’s damaging you’ll realize later in life maybe it wasn’t all worth the pain. Hindsight is always 20/20. Those same people will “sell you what you think living is for” but it’s up to you to “find out what it is you’re living for.” If Easton is anything, he’s poignant. Every time.