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The Tygers: Second Album

The Tygers are not to be confused with the Tygers that came from Pan Tang and specialised in NWOBHM. This stripy beast actually predates that movement by a few decades, as the debut album from this outfit actually saw the light of day some forty years ago! After placing high in a Milwaukee Battle of the Bands competition and a strangely rebuffed approach from the legendary Les Paul, who wanted to produce the band, The Tygers released their debut single "Little By Little" which was only prevented from hitting the number one spot in the local charts by The Monkees hit "Valerie". As the buzz grew across Milwaukee, Herb Alpert who was the head of A&M Records, bought the master of "Little By Little" before offering the band to record an album. Unfortunately in their eagerness to build on this early momentum, The Tygers set about putting that debut album together without their main arranger and singer Tony Dancy, who was ill and the resultant record failed to gain recognition, which led to the band being dropped.

Move forward those forty years and three of the original Tygers (Dancy who also handles guitars and keyboards, Lanny Hale guitar and Craig Fairchild Piano and B3) are back together again to finally record the album that they always wanted to make and Second Album is it. The wonderful vocal melodies, gentle strumming and the retro keyboard sounds of opener "How Long Does It Take" immediately transport you back to the sixties and as you go through the ten tracks it becomes more and more apparent that The Tygers have stayed true to their initial vision, with a sound that has you thinking of Crosby Stills and Nash, Poco or even in places, Simon and Garfunkel. The most modern reference that springs to mind was the smooth quirkiness of "Voo Doo" or "Night Walker", where Gerry Rafferty is the main source of inspiration. Whether you call it "retro", "neo-retro" or just sixties inspired music, there's no escaping the gentle charm and skill that has gone into the songs on Second Album.

Right down to the brief length of this set (the whole album clocks in at around the thirty five minute mark), this is a release that really could have come out forty, or indeed forty five years ago. The melodies are shiny and bright, the production is crystal clear without holding any surprises and the performances evoke a time long gone. Lyrically the songs are a real mixture, with the likes of "Maya" being an ode of dedication, while "Never Too Late" is a fittingly inspirational shove to those that think age should restrict dreams. Best of the bunch is "Scottsdale Blues", which is a lament for those multi millionaire business men whose fortunes have dwindled through the recession. The words are cleverly and humorously put together and through the wonderful clear voice of Dancy, it is impossible not to have a wry smile as the song reaches its conclusion.

For those who lived through the period of music that Second Album is squarely aimed at, this is an essential purchase that will be a welcome addition to those aging collections. For those of us who fall into a younger bracket the likes of "Girl Like You" may feel a bit musically twee and obvious, but there is no denying the great playing and vocal performances put in by the whole band and the guest musicians that helped realise their dream.

A long time in the making, Second Album is charming, engaging and an extremely pleasant nod to the past.

Track Listing
1. How Long Does It Take
2. Voo Doo
3. Scottsdale Blues
4. Girl Like You
5. You Know Where To Reach Me
6. Night Walker
7. Just Enough Time
8. Never Too Late
9. Step By Step
10. Maya

Added: June 5th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Tygers Official Web Site
Hits: 1573
Language: english

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