The Replacements – Tim
September 18, 1985
What It Sounds Like: Moving away from the punk days into more alternative stylings, Tim found The Replacements hitting a sweet spot right in the center.
In anticipation of their reunions shows (it’s been twenty two years!) this weekend that I’ll be attending at Riot Fest in Chicago, it seemed only appropriate that I speak on the album that turned me on to The Replacements in the first place.
It’s hard, in two thousand and thirteen, to review albums like Tim. While they’re still completely relevant, they’re part of an era than has come and gone: the college rock sounds of R.E.M. slithered into the past back in two thousand eleven, just like The Replacements did twenty years before them. Not to make a direct comparison, of course; Westerberg and crew were always primarily more of a straight ahead rock band than Stipe ever aspired to be.
Tim gave us a wonderful sampling of both sides of Westerberg’s mind, from the straightforward energy of Left Of The Dial and Bastards Of Young (minus any of the harder edged punk their earlier work was known for) to the less-electric, almost alt-county of Waitress In The Sky (Norman Greenbaum, anyone?), to the chilled out Swingin Party. I guess that’s three sides, isn’t it? Well then, for good measure, let’s not forget the retro-pop of Kiss Me On The Bus.
Oh, it’s primarily mid-80s alternative rock though, don’t get me wrong. Anything you want, dear, is fine, fine, fine, fine, fine / Everything you say, dear, I’ll buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, buy delivers Westerberg in his signature raw tone on (who would have guessed it) I’ll Buy. Imagining these guys at their heyday must have been quite the spectacle. He’s a showman without trying to be one. He’s a frontman who oozes confidence whether he has it or not. It may have been the alcohol back in the day that pushed him to the performing limit that he was known for, but all the same, I’m glad to see that he’s kicked the stuff – I anticipate even better things post-recovery. It’s too bad they’ve waited this long to give us a taste.
This isn’t really a full on review, as much as it is simply a recognition of a record from a band who, despite laying dormant for the past twenty two years, made a profound impact on modern music. Tim is a winner, and a great place to start if you’ve never heard any of their material.
If you had to listen to two tracks: Bastards Of Young / Here Comes A Regular