Last Year's Man

REVIEW: Last Year’s Man “Time Is A Sparrow”


Last Year’s Man – Time Is A Sparrow (Self-Released)

On his second release under the moniker Last Year’s Man, Tyler Fortier offers yet another beautiful sweeping folk album brimming with pain, heartache and ultimately optimism if you listen hard enough.

The opening track, “Better Left Unsaid,” with his near whispered vocals laying over a mix of piano, synth and guitar, is a hint at what to expect from the rest of the record. The album’s title track best sums up the feel of this collection with lyrics focused on accepting the inevitable. While that theme is pretty common among reflective albums, Fortier’s knack for writing lyrics that are achingly beautiful raises the album beyond just another thoughtful folk record: “If time is a number, stuck up on the wall/hanging like your savior, claiming to heal us all” (from “Time Is A Sparrow”). Elsewhere he keeps coming back to the idea of living in the moment and the unavoidableness of passing time which can change everything. It’s a sentiment that can be found in songs like “Right Where We Are,” “Chasing Down The Sun,” and “Only Memories.”

Musically, “Spill The Light,” flirting with electro pop, is the one true stand out track of the record, sounding unlike most of the other songs in this collection. While there are subtle changes to the music from time to time – the addition of strings here and there, a slightly sped up tempo on a few tracks – the one real aspect that one might say could detract from the record is that so many of these songs are remarkably similar. Fortier’s lowkey delivery rarely changes regardless of the topic he is singing about, adding to the uniformity of a lot of the songs. Lyrically though, Fortier’s brilliance saves the record in the end.

Check out our previous coverage here: Song Premiere: Last Year’s Man “Time Is A Sparrow”

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