MP3 Herb Eimerman - & I You
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12 MP3 Songs
POP: British Pop, ROCK: Emo
Herb Eimerman: & I You
[Under the Dome]
This release is a surprising little chunk of pop music. Herb looks like a middle-aged guy who's already released three albums before this one, & I You. My indie rock pretensions already had me ready to gun down the release because the guy didn't sport a torn up suit, eyeliner, or even a hint that he'd ever dyed his hair. When I popped in the album though, the music was pretty confident and catchy in a way that certainly deserves a bit of notice.
My first reaction is to liken Herb's music to some sort of West coast sound like the Byrds or maybe The Beach Boys. His voice is fairly strong, and his guitar has a fun sound to it. Likening him to trendy upstarts like The Thrills wouldn't be too hard either; it just so happens that one band includes a handful of cute Irish boys signed to Virgin Records, and the other artist is probably slugging it out playing live in the Midwest somewhere. As a solo artist, Herb plays all the instruments on this record, but it is surprising to observe an album that feels much more like a full band project. I can hear bits of the unabashed pop styles of XTC here as well, which I presume is not intentional, but the comparison does illuminate Herb's musical skill. I'm not really sure which market this guy would fit into best, but he has a certain knack for writing good tunes.
-Danny Rowe/Left Off Dial https://www.tradebit.com
Issue 43 July-August 2004
& I You
Herb Eimerman offers the kind of precision most musicians don't seem all that concerned with anymore. While many of his contemporaries are more intent on aiming for the gut, this Chicago-based performer appeals to the heart,creating lush, richly-textured melodies that stir up the perfect pop confection. A one-time associate of Shoes (he formed a side project,coyly dubbed the Nerk Twins, with Shoes' Jeff Murphy), Eimerman literally plays every instrument on & I You, his fourth and perhaps best, solo effort to date. A collection of instantly engaging tunes, it boasts a timeless feel consistent with classic pop precepts. While many artists strive to evoke a mid-'60s Brit-rock sensibility, Eimerman effectively recreates the effect entirely; in this case, songs such as "All If Gotta Say", "If We Want It", Look Who's Talkin'" and "I Felt Clean" actually sound as if they could have been plucked intact from the repertoires of, say, the Searchers, the Left Banke or ever Herman's Hermits. His buoyant, effervescent delivery accounts for only part of the reason why; it's his delicate, mannered arrangements and a careful attention to detail that transforms this set into such a sumptuous aural delight.
Herb Eimerman (formerly of Nerk Twins with Jeff Murphy of Shoes) has released his fourth solo cd "& I You". Full of jangly guitars and layered background vocals, Bruce Brodeen of Not Lame says, " This should be the album that power pop fans sit up and start taking notice that Eimerman is pure pop pleasure to behold and enjoy. Extremely Highly Recommended!"
"Eimerman has a friendly voice (a bit akin to Dave Edmunds) and writes songs that follow in the path of The Beatles and their inspirations like Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers. If music were food, this would be meringue -- there may not be much in the way of nutrition, but its sweet and fulfilling.. Fans of Shoes (for those who don't know, Eimermans Nerk Twin partner was Jeff Murphy of Shoes) will slobber over "All I've Gotta Say", which has a great chorus, where the melody descends in a floating manner"-Mike Bennett, https://www.tradebit.com. Extremely Highly Recommended!
"& I You" is for those who like Beatles, Bryds, Rembrandts, Mathew Sweet, Thorns type music with it being all about the song!
Herb Eimerman is a folk artist trapped in a pop body. He has the kind of voice that captures hearts and minds, an intimate quality that evokes the sensibility of a sensitive soul even as it betrays some sense of weariness, of having been there and perhaps lost and then, after having learned a thing or two, won. It's the voice of an angel bearing history.
Working in a most personal idiom, Eimerman's considered lyrics, set to instantly hummable-along-with melodies and music that harkens back to the Byrds and Beatles, among other classic pop touchstones, paint pictures of life that are always true. That those pictures are sometimes imperfect makes the songs on Eimerman's latest album, & i you, all that more breathtakingly, sometimes heartbreakingly real. The album's title says it all in shorthand terms that must translate to you and me, we are the same, we share the same experiences. What could be more true than that?
In the opener, "I Don't Want to Know," an imperfect relationship is rocked by one person's leaving. The other, willing to do what's necessary to repair the bond, is plagued by the fear that whatever happens, his mate will not come back to stay. When he sings "Some days it feels like I'm sinking in sand/If you're washing your hands of me," he is expressing extreme sadness, but he also is willing to do his part: "I'm trying to change how I feel/And someday I'll change more than that." Hope must spring eternal.
A distinct Byrds guitar line dominates "All I've Gotta Say," which uses a descending chord structure and an effective step-up chord to tell a story of a faith, of feeling complete. That feeling falls apart in the rocking "Big Dark Secret," where a touch of rage threatens to overtake a calm feeling. "I got beat up in my own backyard/It didn't feel right/Let down my guard/Tonight/I feel like a fight," the narrator sings, even as he acknowledges that "It's a lonely old town when you're not around" and pleads "I need you tonight." And in the heartfelt closer, "I Felt Clean," Eimerman sings about feeling at peace with himself, comforting his listeners: "And in fact if you ever wonder/No need to look/I'll always be here."
Posted by Bill Sherman on August 12, 2004 10:48 AM (See all posts by Bill Sherman)
Filed under: Music, Music: Pop
I first became aware of Illinois popper Herb Eimerman through his collaboration with former Shoes-man Jeff Murphy. The duo released an album in the 90's under the name the Nerk Twins (an early Lennon/McCartney pseudonym - for those not hyper-attuned to Beatles Lore) that was lightweight in spots but still provided a good reminder of why so many power pop collectors were fanatical about the Shoes back in their heyday. Off on his own, Eimerman does the Todd Rundgren thing by writing every song, multi-tracking his voice and playing all instruments. & I You (Jam Recordings) is the guy's fourth solo release - and if the results of all this just fall short of purest Shoes divinity, I'm pretty sure you can't blame the songs, many of which are waiting for a more plangent band of power poppers to fly 'em into the stratosphere. (Are Teenage Fanclub still in bizness?)
Eimerman's sonic approach is exemplified on & I You's opening track, "I Don't Want to Know": easy tempo pop-rock with melancholy harmonies, sly high guitar touches, and tentative lyrics ("If you're coming back, that'll be just fine.") There are plenty of lyrical "if"s on this disc (two songs even have it in their title), which suits Eimerman's boyishly contemplative voice. If his forbearers in the Shoes at times may've focused too much on songs about emotional betrayal, Eimerman's protagonists often don't seem sure enough of themselves to recognize when they've been screwed. "I feel crazy almost all the time," he almost snarls in one of the disc's snappiest tracks, but it's the gap caught in that "almost" which keeps the disc so restrained.
"In the shadows I've found," our one man studio band sings in one of the disc's other highpoints, "a whisper is enough." And if anything serves as an overall mission statement, that's it. This is romantic pop-rock at its most ruminative, even if you're not always certain exactly what the songwriter is pondering. ("When the big dark secret rages within with fame"?) Musically, pop lovers like me'll pick up traces of Zion Illinois' finest, not to mention bits of later Flamin' Groovies and squishy folk-poppers like the Association. It's the kind of thoughtful 60's-indebted pop-rock, in other words, that doesn't stand a chance in hell of getting played on the radio today - but thankfully seems to be surviving thanx to a coterie of cultish addicts, many of 'em too young to've "outgrown" this sneakily hook-filled retro sound.
In the end, & I You's quiet and determinedly tuneful sound has spurred me into seeking out Eimerman's three earlier solo albums.
"& I You"
There's a simplicity and innocence to "& I You", Herb Eimerman's most recent CD, that's extraordinarily charming, especially given the over-produced, mass-appeal slop that passes for popular music nowadays. Tunes like "I Don't Want To Know" pssess a straightforward 1960s rock allure, with cuts such as "Big Dark Secret" and "Look Who's Talkin'" offering somewhat more intricate yet equally intoxicating interludes. All 12 power-pop tracks, written and performed by this skilled one-man band, are energetic and entirely engaging.
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