In the World of Him

In the World of Him

by Sally Timms
     
 

On her previous solo albums -- not to mention much of her work with the Mekons -- Sally Timms has presented herself as something of a roadhouse angel, albeit one with an art-school pedigree. She's left the tavern behind to a large degree on The World of Him, which is something of a concept album, the concept being men and their foibles.See more details below

Overview

On her previous solo albums -- not to mention much of her work with the Mekons -- Sally Timms has presented herself as something of a roadhouse angel, albeit one with an art-school pedigree. She's left the tavern behind to a large degree on The World of Him, which is something of a concept album, the concept being men and their foibles. Timms doesn't find much to celebrate in the so-called stronger sex, but neither does she use the disc as a platform for some sort of bitter screed. As ever, she's perfectly cognizant of black and white but settles in the gray areas, both in her take on Mark Eitzel's from-the-gutter lament "God's Eternal Love" and her interpretation of longtime Mekons mate Jon Langford's burly "Sentimental Marching Song." Accompanied by kindred spirit Johnny Dowd's backing band, Timms expresses her woe in her usual tear-in-your-beer country croon, taking on a darker, neo-cabaret tone. That's particularly effective on a version of Kevin Coyne's "Just a Man," which has its frustrated tone ramped up by Timms's measured, nearly spoken delivery. Ryan Adams's "The Fools We Are as Men," on the other hand, imparts its desperation in the subtlest of whispers. But as the adage goes, the fact that Sally Timms speaks softly doesn't mean she doesn't carry quite a big emotional stick.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Sally Timms' In the World of Him is easily her most provocative record. It is a collection of songs almost exclusively by men, sung from their perspective on various themes ranging from war, abandonment, death, marriage, and the inability to communicate emotions inherent in those experiences. Timms co-produced the album with Justin Asher, and Johnny Dowd (who play on the set as well). Various Timms' mates from the Mekons are present here too, in Tom Greenhalgh, Jon Rauhouse, and Jon Langford. The record is skeletal, slightly out of kilter, timeless, eerie, and utterly beautiful. Though written by seven different songwriters, the feel of the disc is something akin, albeit it in a very modern way, to Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's cabaret music. Decadence, malaise, tragedy and brokenness hover about these proceedings like ghosts. The album opens with Langford's "Sentimental Marching Song," with shifty keyboards, a xylorimba, breakbeats, and a synthed-out bassline that feels unsettling at first, but Timms sweet balladic vocal juxtaposes wonderfully with the synthetic instrumentation. The lyrics are nightmarish, wonderfully perverse and strangely vulnerable. The Mekons "Corporal Chalkie," a wartime dirge, follows with Asher's organ, a skittering, military-styled snare by Willie B and Dowd's guitars stretching the elegiac nature of the tune to the breaking point. Mark Eitzel's "God's Eternal Love," is haunted bewilderment and a hunted sense of acceptance. Electronic sounds -- a whispering guitar and sporadic percussive effects -- adorn Timms' empathetic vocal. Dowd's "139 Hernalser Gürtel," a perverse sexual circus of a waltz is fueled by an organ that sounds more like a calliope, and ends with a chorus that could be sung amongst weary, drunken friends. Timms delivers it with a particularly wasted savoir fare. The Mekons kick it on the mutant rock & roll of "Bomb." "I'm Just a Man" is the most surprising and beautiful song here, written by eccentric British songman Kevin Coyne. With a straight-up country-rock arrangement, taken just outside enough to be perverse, Timms and the band wrench every ounce of the writer's nakedly honest poetry form the tune. In the plaintive grain of the words: "It's not that I want to hold you ransom with foolish lies or lies, lies that tie you down/It's not that I don't want to marry you/because marrying would mean that I'd have to chain you not choose you/chain you not choose you/I love you and that alone I want to say and I've never wanted to say anything any other way/Than the way/I am saying it now/This is the way I really feel/And if I sound a little confused/It's because I'm so, oh, feeling for you/Can you understand?" ring with an empathy and revelation of the manner in which men wish they could speak to women. Timms' own version of the nursery rhyme "Tommy Tucker," which commences with her sing-songing the rhyme and moving into a beautiful song about its subject, now grown, alienated, and lonely. Hands down, In the World of Him is Timms' masterpiece.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/14/2004
Label:
Touch & Go Records
UPC:
0036172096923
catalogNumber:
969

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sally Timms   Primary Artist,Vocals
Mekons   Various
Tom Greenhalgh   Electric Guitar,Soloist
Jon Langford   Spoken Word
Joan Wasser   Violin
Johnny Dowd   Electric Guitar
Jon Rauhouse   Banjo,Mandolin,tiple
Ted Reichman   Accordion
Eric Johnson   Acoustic Guitar
Justin "Trevor" Asher   Organ,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Clavinet,Sampling
Evelyn Weston   Saw
Willie B   Drums,Moog Synthesizer,Xylorimba,Moog Bass
Eric Johnson   Acoustic Guitar
Kim Sherwood Caso   Vocals
Evelyn Weston   Saw

Technical Credits

Mekons   Composer
Kevin Coyne   Composer
Mark Eitzel   Composer
Jon Langford   Composer
Sally Timms   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Mike Hagler   Engineer
Ken Sluiter   Engineer
Johnny Dowd   Composer,Poetry,Producer,Audio Production
Justin "Trevor" Asher   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production

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