I usually like to avoid clichés but it is commonly said “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”. That is especially true in music, as an album really needs to start off strong to hold in a listener. The good news is that Don’t Make Me Wait, the most recent album by Nick Tann has that attention-grabbing first track. One Night Stand (Glad You Came) is a song where the talents Tann possesses really shine though. It’s obvious to anyone who listens that he is an extremely talented guitarist. Acoustic music is almost better at times then electric, since it’s a bit harder to manipulate in the studio, and Tann uses the acoustic guitar as a form of artistic expression. It doesn’t hurt that he has a very strong voice; he has impressive range, but even better is that he actually has control over his voice.
One other aspect I like of this album has very little to do with the actual music, and that is the production. It may seem like a useless compliment, but so many albums today are over-produced, not with effects but in terms of the actual mixing. It’s really amazing how many albums spend the entire time “in the red” to the point where they are hard to listen to. It’s a great thing that this album isn’t. Lots of time, a singer with such high range tends to be so high on the VU meter that it is not the easiest thing to do to make the album not crack. Very high quality production values make this album way easier to listen to.
In terms of the album itself, it’s a mixture of folk and blues. His guitar work is somewhat typical of the folk genre. It is better than most albums; however the general feel of the album musically can be seen as similar to some of Okkervil River’s music. It’s more stripped down, but the sound is close to certain Okkervil songs. It’s probably my biggest gripe with the album. It just doesn’t really sound all that unique at times. Some of it does…some of it doesn’t.
Tann’s voice is what sets this album apart from many others of the same general genre. He sounds like Eric Clapton (circa Me and Mr. Johnson) and Trey Anastasio came together vocally and the result would be something similar to Tann. I do think that Tann can hit the high notes a bit better then Anastastio for the most part. The vocals are the best part of the album, no question.
In general, it’s easy to recommend this album. It’s not the most groundbreaking album in the history of music, but it’s almost always a pleasant listen. If you are a fan of good acoustic music made by a musician who puts his soul into the music, then go for it. My negative take on the sound doesn’t take away the fact that it’s a very good album.