King’s X guitarist and co-vocalist Ty Tabor released his latest solo record Friday. The 13-song album, Shades, was released through Rat Pak Records. It is an interesting new offering from the veteran musician, as its musical and lyrical content prove. Tabor said during an interview promoting the album, he wrote the album about the different sides of life and death. Those themes are clear throughout the album what with the melancholy mood that each song sets. The album also touches on politics, in one of its bonus songs, ‘Political Nonsense,’ which will be discussed later. ‘What You’re Thinking,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is another example of what makes the album intriguing. It will be discussed shortly. ‘Best Day In A While’ is also an interesting addition to the album and will be discussed a little later. Each song examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s body. All things considered, they make Shades an interesting offering from Tabor that will help his fans and King’s X fans bide the time until the band’s upcoming fall European tour launches later this year.
Shades, the latest solo record from King’s X guitarist/co-vocalist Ty Tabor, is an intriguing and aptly titled new offering from the veteran musician and performer. That is proven throughout the record in each of its musical arrangements and in its lyrical content. ‘I Know What You’re Thinking’ is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statement. The song’s musical arrangement is the foundation for its interest. It comes across as a sort of neo-classic rock style composition. That is nothing new for Tabor, as so much of his work bears that signature style. The good thing is that it still maintains its own identity separate from his existing works. The positive energy in the song’s arrangement works well with the song’s equally positive lyrical content which seems to focus on the familiar topic of a relationship. In the case of this song, the relationship is actually at a good point.
Tabor makes that clear as he sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “You amaze me/Sometimes crazy/I am crazy, too/And you love me/All that you see/How much I love you, too/Why I say/I know/What you’re thinking/I can tell by your gesture/It’s no mystery/I know/I don’t thank you/I can tell by the look in your eyes/And I agree.” This is in fact a positive mindset, as noted. It is a lighthearted statement about being in that familiar place in a relationship, showing appreciation for that other person for all that they do. He continues, “You’re meant for me/You can believe/I am meant for you/We’re together/Walk forever/I will walk with you.” This is a statement of dedication to that other person, enriching the overall statement even more. It is a happy note that will appeal to so many listeners. The positive energy in the song’s arrangement pairs with that light commentary to make the song all the more appealing. The whole makes the song just one example of how much the overall album has to offer. ‘Best Day In A While’ is another strong example of how much the album has to offer.
‘Best Day In A While’ is the polar opposite of ‘I Know What You’re Thinking,’ musically and lyrically. The musical arrangement featured in this song is much more reserved than its counterpart. It is so melancholy from start to end, meaning it will require audiences to be in a specific mindset in order to appreciate it. That melancholy mood translates directly into the song’s lyrical side, which finds Tabor paying tribute to his late father. Tabor even said in the noted interview about the album, “I was dealing with the recent death of my dad when some of this was written.” He closes out the song going so far as to say, “That was the best day I’ve had, dad.” Throughout the rest of the song, he pays moving tribute to his father, singing the song’s lead verse, “Heaven’s open for a big rain to come our way/But we didn’t care/We drove on and on all day/Went to the place where your mother and father are laid/And we drove to the river/And that is where we stayed/Then you said/That was the best day I’ve had in a while/I do believe/That was the best day I’ve had in a while, I do believe/That was the best day I’ve had in a while/Was the best day I’ve had in a while/That was the best day I’ve had/Son.” He continues, “Images of you on the floor still fill my head/I wanted to give something more than I’m comfortable back/I’m thankful for every single moment I’ve spent with you/And I’ll always hold on to the good things that got your through.” This is such a deeply moving eulogy for Tabor’s father. At the same time, it will help anyone out there who may be dealing with the loss of maybe not just a father, but a mother; this, despite the fact that the song is a tribute to Tabor’s father. The moving lyrical tribute, paired with the song’s equally rich musical arrangement, makes the song all that much more powerful and a statement about how much the album has to offer audiences. It is just one more example of what makes the album worth hearing. ‘Political Nonsense,’ which is one of the album’s three bonus tracks, does its own share to make the album worth hearing.
‘Political Nonsense’ stands out because its musical arrangement is more closely related to the songs that Tabor has composed alongside his Kings X band mates than in his own albums. That is evident in the song’s heaviness and occasional contemplative nature of the chorus sections. The song is largely instrumental. The rare times that Tabor does sing, his words are simple. He sings in those rare moments, “No political nonsense.” It is a straight forward statement that appears to address the hyper partisan nature of politics today. It is a simple statement, but speaks volumes in its simplicity. The added statements that “I won’t listen” would seem to hint at people not listening to one another, or even to himself not listening to the two sides bickering. It is hardly the first time that any music act has taken on politics in its music. The simple approach that Tabor has taken here though, makes the moment unique among its counterparts. In turn, it makes the song well worth hearing just as much as the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s songs. When it is considered along with all of those songs, the whole makes the album in general an interesting addition to this year’s field of new rock albums.
Ty Tabor’s new album, Shades, is an intriguing offering from the veteran musician. The album stands out because of its musical and lyrical content. The songs examined here make that clear. When the songs examined here are considered along with the album’s other entries, the whole makes Shades a welcome addition to this year’s field of new rock albums.
Shades is available now. More information on the album is available along with all of Ty Tabor’s latest news at: