Word of MouthIf Timmy Curran’s ethereal vocals and haunting melodies sound vaguely familiar, maybe it’s because you actually have heard them before. But now, with his album Word of Mouth being re-released on Adeline Records, even more people are likely to be exposed to his expressive brand of pop/folk music. Occasionally sounding like a Jack Johnson lite or a less-emotional Ben Harper, Curran’s music has the same mix of coolness and depth, though it’s not quite as catchy as either of the compared musicians.

And the Jack Johnson comparison is even more apt than it might seem, considering that Curran was a professional surfer before stumbling into a musical career relatively late in life. Growing up in a family of musicians, Curran never knew his true skill until one day in Japan several years ago when he wrote a song called “If I Only Had A Way,” recorded it on his MiniDisc recorder. Impressed with himself for the first time he played the song for his wife and several friends and family members. Encouraged by their responses, he continued writing and very quickly landed a spot on a Japanese compilation and in a documentary on legendary surfboard shaper Al Merrick. From then on, things just kept growing and Curran found himself with a new career.

His laidback style and relaxing vocals, though, make it feel like he was born to do this. His rather melancholy voice plays perfectly with slower, more emotional lyrics, such as in “Moving On,” when he declares “I never meant to hurt you / I only tried to care for all the troubles that I could see / I gave you all I could be,” or in the impressive “Blue Eyes” when he confesses “‘Cause I’d be lost forever if you slipped away / Blue Eyes you’re the reason for my change.” It’s moments like these that capture the true essence of Curran’s ability and charm as a singer-songwriter. Wearing his heart on his sleeve with uptempo guitar riffs backing him up, Curran is in his element.

It’s other songs like “Comatose” and “Horses on the Range” where he strays from his formula of success and oversteps his abilities. Lines like “If we don’t wake up soon/ this burden will be long/ If we don’t wake up soon/ all we ever knew will be gone” or “I am bound up in chains / and I just have to say ‘let me run like the horses on the range'” are heartfelt, but a bit less moving than the emotional tones he strikes in other songs. It’s emotions, not politics that are Curran’s strong point. Luckily, Word of Mouth has plenty of emotional songs. It’s a moving debut album, and it’s no surprise people have taken notice of Curran.

Zach’s Rating: B+
Perfect For: Those anticipating Jack Johnson’s next album
Stay Away if: You’re not interested in the new folk/pop movement
Buy this on Itunes: “Blue Eyes”

To purchase Word of Mouth, visit Amazon

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