Between the Trees - The Story and the Song (Cover Artwork)

Between the Trees

The Story and the Song (2006)


Sometimes it's difficult to place new terminology on an all too familiar sound. Sure, a thesaurus helps, but metaphor and other forms of description that seek to go beyond surface-level details -- in hopes of finding some greater value in an album's minutia -- don't even seem worth the effort when said album is the product of a band who can't exert the energy to differentiate themselves from an overcrowded genre. Simply put, The Story and the Song is a boring and predictable key-driven pop-rock album.

Think about the last few years in music and the bands that have featured keyboard/piano/synth players. Got some bands? Good, because now you know what Between the Trees were thinking about when they made this record. Tracks like opener "The Forward," "Words" and "Fairweather" are upbeat synth-heavy numbers that recall Mae while the more piano-based and ballad-like compositions of "White Lines & Red Lights" and "The Greatest of These (A Little Love)" sound like Something Corporate doing their best the Fray impersonation.

It's not even just the music that fails to lift my writer's block; the lyrics are also uninspired need-a-rhyme fare. See great choruses like, "'Cause you are the brightest star / I'm in love with who you are / And you are the brightest star / I'm lost without your love," and "Sticks and stones / may break my bones / your words they surely kill / they surely kill," for example.

I don't want this to turn into an exercise in insults, so I'll stop here. Besides, when an album lacks any depth, pouring words into it merely causes an overflow of wasted type. Well, would you look at that? Maybe I did have a metaphor in me after all.