The Swift's "Today" -- Not Perfect But Certainly Pleasant
- 2004 1 Oct
Artist: The Swift
The Swift plays piano-driven pop/rock that hearkens back to an era when rockers like Elton John and Billy Joel used their pianos more as instruments of warfare than something that simply blended into the background.
Ben Folds would be the most modern equivalent, although The Swift goes one step farther by adding biting guitar fills in between piano melodies. All this makes "Today," the group’s second album, a promising alternative to guitar-centric modern rock. Today isn’t perfect, but it is altogether pleasant.
“Anthem” showcases the band’s operating motif: A driving piano pounds out an opening line; the band crashes in and builds to an appropriately anthemic chorus: “Love come rescue me/Take me away from the world and set my spirit free.”
After another verse and chorus, guitarist Chris Byers (who, unfortunately, has since left the band) takes a solo with tight, stabbing lines. Then it’s back to the chorus a few times before winding down. It’s about as poppy and focused as they come.
Today offers other highlights as well. “You Burn” is a forceful declaration of offering one’s life as a living sacrifice. And “Trumpet Song” is a bouncy number with a sing-along chorus. Singer-pianist Britt Edwards possesses a strong, textured voice that’s easy on the ears.
At times, though, the band falls prey to the music industry’s current obsession with flowery string arrangements. Both “Now That You Found Me” and “I Need You” could have sounded more intimate without the burden of those distracting layers. Indeed, beneath that schmaltz are more fine songs from this promising band.
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