Sperry Alan’s new album ‘Befour Our Time’ features a few diamonds in the rough
Sperry Alan’s new album “Before Our Time” is good, but the biggest issue keeping it from being really great, in our estimation, is that these songs would feel more fleshed out with some more musicians on board.
At times it’s a bit rough around the edges, but the core — the catchy guitar riffs and toe-tapping lyrics — is well done. The album comes off as a slow burn that takes a few listens before it starts sinking into your psyche. This musician from Truro, Nova Scotia has been doing his thing as a performer for quite a while, as this album shows.
The problems might be small but can be heard throughout. On “Made of Mistakes I Am,” for instance, the piano fill in the background doesn’t mesh with the vocals. The song gets better when the guitars are brought in midway through, but by that point you’ve probably already made your mind up about the song unless you’re willing to listen past the intro.
In a way it’s almost like two different songs as I found myself not caring for the start and loving the second half when the pianos are gone. Perhaps they’re played a bit too fast for my liking, but it just doesn’t mesh well until about 1:13 in when the rest of the instruments join in.
The highlights on the album include “I Maintain” and “My Woman,” which feel like the most fleshed out songs on the 9-track album. Which, wouldn’t you know it, Sperry has a guest vocalist singing alongside him. I found myself coming back to these tracks several times more than the other songs. “Pig” is a fun little jam too that you find yourself wishing would go on a bit longer than 55 seconds.
To be sure, Alan’s voice lends itself to well to the genre and is the predominant instrument on most of the tracks, next to the pulsating guitars, which give the songs an air of expertise. Several of these songs seem like a natural fit to be tied into a television show or a film of some sort, which may be by design.
With that said, Alan’s vocal range doesn’t push many boundaries, and that’s too bad because there’s a few places on the better tracks that could have been pushed even higher with someone who could really belt out a broader range of notes. But, it’s not the most noticeable issue.
Looking through the liner notes, it appears as if Sperry is the sole musician for most of the album, which, to his credit, isn’t easy to do. But, there’s a few spots where you can tell that he’s the only one, too. If he were to recruit a few more talented musicians to into the mix, it would only help add more texture to these tracks that are begging for it.
In conclusion, Sperry Alan has some real potential, but is just missing a few key elements to make it happen right now. It should be interesting to see what kind of growth this band makes as it continues to evolve.