Timothy Thomas Cleary

The thing about album reviews is that they tend to be fairly untrue. Too many generalities, too much name-dropping; it's a contentious game of words and, often, a clash of musical egos. Take Scenery, the debut solo effort by Timothy Thomas Cleary (formerly of Boulder-based Signal to Noise and soon to be an ex-Coloradan with a big move to the east): The self-released EP could easily be described as an exercise in singer-songwriter pretension, marked by its notable resemblance to similarly styled works by sensitive guys like Jason Molina or Mark Kozelek. Scenery is a photograph, an intimate snapshot of Cleary's personal tribulations, highlighted by a flurry of tambourines and picked strings. It's intuitive and sad, heartbreakingly triumphant and melodramatically composed. But, really, all these words are an empty gesture for an album that's considerably more mature and self-aware than any trite summary could ever offer. And that's no lie.


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