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Tim Miser

Into Final Corners – 2003 (Flat Earth)

Reviewed by Bill Silvers

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CDs by Tim Miser

It took awhile for Tim Miser's debut to reach the public, but the results were worth the wait. Miser began his career as a solo act, but took up with Tulsa-area friends to form the band Lasso, who recorded and toured in 2000-2001. The results of those recording sessions were eventually reworked into this low key, but subtly potent record.

Miser writes from a distinctly personal perspective, but demonstrates a gift for making his protagonists yearnings accessible and emotionally compelling. Miser, whose tenor voice is all the more effective when it rises above a weary drawl, evokes real pathos on standouts like the moving "Hope Is My Invention," "Letter To A Long Departed Lover" and the knowing "Room To Move." Tempos that let the songs take their time telling their stories predominate, and Miser's guitar is often matched with pedal steel to highlight the emotional effect. Livelier songs like "All Those Who Wage Against Me Tremble" and western-themed "Lay Your Weapon Down" provide a change of pace if only a little lighter emotional touch. This is a record of small yet profound observation and insight.