Review Summary: Sweet songs for fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and lovers.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
The music of William Fitzsimmons has always been something rather peculiar to me. While it always does have the ability to appeal to everyone with its somewhat simple melody driven songs, there’s always a little more beneath the surface of the songs. While they take a certain meaning for Mr. Fitzsimmons, they can take a totally different meaning for yourself or maybe your closest friend. When he’s talking about his brother, it might seem like he’s talking about your father or a distant relative. This still applies to Goodnight
, his third album, a wholly accessible adventure into the folksy underbrush of your own life.
One thing that he has always been able to do and still continues to do is carry a tune. He croons his way through the album a wounded and bruised man, yet comes out as a diamond in the rough. It’s impossibly difficult to describe just why
his voice is so good, which is the odd part. He doesn’t exactly do anything musically astounding or blow us away with his range. The easiest way to describe it, for me, is that his voice is like water. Clear, pale blue, cool water streaming to your mouth after a long days hike. The voice of a grounded angel singing away his troubles and weaving it into a weightless burden upon your shoulders. This is William Fitzsimmons’ voice.
Over the years he has also become a tad better at writing lyrics. While I really could just pull out any and all lines of all the songs to show you how these lyrics are pure poetry
, for the sake of your time and mine, I chose the song Everything Has Changed
minus a couple stanzas for the sake of length.
“Today i saw my father standing in the graveyard
looking very somber looking for his mom
when he finally found her he said that it was different
everything is different nothing's really changed
my brother would remember sitting in the hallway
waiting for my father both of us were scared
when the doorknob turned we took off for the stairway
looking for some cover trying to get away
i wonder if you blamed yourself for when she left you
by closing up the garage door and turning on the car
your father must have lost it your sister couldn't help you
but dad if you were lonely you had no where to turn
oh father can't you see the pieces that have fallen on the ground
when you and mom decided nothing could be saved inside this house
last night i had a dream that i was in the graveyard
looking at my father buried in the ground
i'd swear that i could hear him tell me he was sorry
he told me he was sorry and everything has changed”
It is interesting how he brings it full circle to me, citing examples of common events throughout his and his father’s life which might’ve happened in the lives of others. Nobody can tell me that if they had a sibling, verse two never applied to them. This is just an example from the album, there are 12 other songs with lyrics on par to this.
Musically this could
be considered to suffer a little from the Jack Johnson syndrome in the sense that Fitzsimmons is playing his music in the same sort of way. However, if one listens to the music instead of making generalizations about the way he vocalizes they would realize that this is different in the sense that he isn’t playing chords but instead composing countermelodies to the vocal lines with his guitar, giving it a much brighter feel then his darker work. He also does a lot more layering of sound on this album and welcomes in a flute here and there which is much more of an additive then the click track he used to use much more often than he does on this album. One song in specific stands out to me as not sounding his style as much as it reminds me of a song off of a Sufjan Stevens
album. You Broke My Heart
and many songs like it which get the addition of background vocals, flutes, and clarinets to name a few instruments, help to create a more diverse album that flourishes with repeated listens. Don’t fret though, there are still quite a few songs that bring back memories of his older songs (which don’t bring down the album one bit despite how I may have portrayed them as a negative thing).
So if you’re looking for an album to embody your sadness or frustration with others, you might’ve just stumbled upon the right review. Goodnight
may be a bit different in many facets, but in the end it’s just the album that everyone wanted him to write. Sweet songs for fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and lovers.