Album Review

Tim Flannery

“”Pieces of the Past””

Whale Bone Records

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If you’re wondering what music by a former professional baseball player sounds like, then this is it. “”Pieces of the Past”” is by former baseball player and current coach of the San Diego Padres Tim Flannery.

Flannery’s debut album is a mix of folk and bluegrass and it combines acoustic guitar, fiddle and bagpipe, among other instruments, to create an old-country sound. The instrumental music on this album is well-crafted and intricately layered with lots of harmonizing effects, but overall, it evokes little emotion because of Flannery’s insipid lyrics and droning voice.

“”Foot of the Cross”” is a standard Christian song, with such overused lyrics like “”At the foot of the cross love will be found … there’s a place I go to when life gets me down.”” Perhaps the song would sound better if sung by someone with a more expressive voice, but it sounds disappointingly tedious with Flannery’s average set of pipes.

“”Million Miles Away,”” however, is a soothing six-minute song inspired by a lonesome walk on the streets of San Francisco.

Flannery writes his own songs and explains them in the liner notes. That fact shows promise. Flannery also employs standard instruments (acoustic guitar, bass, percussion, etc.), instead of imitating other kinds of music.

“”Pieces of the Past”” successfully does what Flannery probably intended to do, which is to evoke images of nature and tell the stories of his childhood- but whether he suceeds in provoking any sort of interest from the listeners is another story.

— Brenda Xu