Review Summary: An inconsistent but very solid solo debut for Billy Howerdel.
For those of you who do not know who Billy Howerdel is, he is the mastermind behind the music of the popular band A Perfect Circle. However, the even more popular singer Maynard James Keenan is the lead singer for APC. When I heard Billy was coming out with a solo act, the truth is, I was a little skeptical. It was a pleasant surprise to hear that Billy does not need Maynard as a crutch to make great music. Keep Telling Myself It's Alright is a very solid debut for the APC alumni and he can actually sing quite well for the most post.
Billy is capable of being an excellent singer on this album, but the problem with it is that his singing voice is quite inconsistent. Sometimes Billy is often a little shaky or pitchy and Denial Waits is a perfect example of his inconsistency. However, we he gets it right, he is often capable of being powerful and even soothing. His whispered vocals are very well done and his whispered vocals are usually when his voice is at his best. He hits high notes pretty well and his voice is also very unique. I was very impressed with his voice and he is surprisingly charismatic. As for the rest of the band, with the exception of the drums, Billy is the rest of the band.
Billy is known of creating a plethora of emotions throughout your body and Too Late is definitely that musical highlight on the album. It is just downright beautiful and it is capable of being sad and uplifting at the same time. Forever Can Be is also one of the best tracks on the album when it comes to music. The Stone is awesome because its guitar riff is incredibly catchy and this definitely deserved to be Ashes Divide's radio single. The lyrics are not bad either and Billy is really not a bad songwriter. However, much like Billy's voice, the music and lyrics are often very inconsistent as well. His lyrics range from excellent(Forever Can Be) to childish(Enemies). Over half the songs has great music and lyrics, but for some reason the same guitar riff that is played in the Stripped Away is played in The Prey which is an odd choice by Billy. I should also mention that A Wish is an incredibly boring track and the album would have been better without it.
For the most part, this is a very solid debut for Billy and it has me looking forward to his sophomore album. All of the songs are placed perfectly in the album and it makes it flow very well. It doesn't contain Billy's best musicianship,(listen to Gravity by APC for that) but if you are fans of Billy's work it is quite well done even though it is a little inconsistent. However, there is true potential seen here in Billy and it shows at most parts of the album that he doesn't need Maynard to be great which is quite refreshing. I'm expecting bigger and better things from Billy's second album that will hopefully come out this year. Keep up the good work Billy.
Tracks I recommend:
-Forever Can Be