Album Review

Mary Timony - Untame The Tiger

A stirring reminder of her singular ability as a guitarist and songwriter.

Mary Timony - Untame The Tiger

It’s a shame that it took going through the hardest years of her life for Mary Timony to find the catalyst to make a first solo record in well over a decade, but there is consolation in the results, which demonstrate that a series of life crises clearly brought the creative best out of her. ‘Untame The Tiger’, the illustrious guitarist’s first full-length solo outing since 2007’s ‘The Shapes We Make’, came together over the course of an arduous two year period during which she tended to her ailing parents during the final months of their lives and saw a long-term relationship disintegrate around the same time. The subsequent peering into the abyss appears to have awoken something in her, as ‘Untame The Tiger’ is scored through with real ambition and stylistic daring, right from epic opener ‘No Thirds’, which unfurls across a sprawling, moody sonic landscape. Mary’s influence on indie rock guitar playing over the past three decades has been as consistent as it has, often, been underappreciated and the key to her enduring appeal to new players is the way in which - on her solo records especially - she refuses to close off creative avenues. This is something thrillingly underlined on ‘Untame the Tiger’, which finds her deftly turning her hand to everything from garage rock and classic rock (both in the same song, ‘Summer’) to seventies folk rock (‘The Dream’, the title track) and woozy Americana (‘The Guest’). Having been better recognised as a key member of Wild Flag and Ex Hex in recent years, Mary Timony’s singular ability as a guitarist and songwriter had been forgotten somewhat; ‘Untame The Tiger’ serves as a stirring reminder of it.

Tags: Mary Timony, Reviews, Album Reviews

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