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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Ty Tabor
Label: Inside Out
Ty Tabor's solo discs have taken on a recognizable formula over the last ten years or so: fantastic guitar work, talented guest musicians (Wally Farkas and Randy St. John this time out), and moments of genius followed by lyrics that are often simplistic, sometimes painfully so. Rock Garden is no exception, proving once again how great a band King's X is when they're on - each of its members needs the others to pull their talent to its highest level.
"Ride" is a perfect example of this description, featuring a blazing guitar solo, but also rhyming "know ya" with "throw ya." "Stalker" may or may not be an autobiographical tale of an overenthusiastic fan. "I Know What I'm Missing" tips its hat to Tabor's previous release Moonflower Lane. "Afraid" is a commentary on today's society living and being motivated by fear, from TV reports to doctors to terrorism.
"She's a Tree", perhaps a breakup song, stands out musically, as does "Pretty Good", which features King's X bandmate dUg Pinnick on backup vocals. Tabor has always been the one to bring the Beatles side to King's X, and the songs here are proof positive of that. His lyrical style is much like that of Paul McCartney, and tends to reflect the ever changing moods of life, from feeling content to dealing with loss and love. If I had to rate Tabor's entire solo catalog, Rock Garden would rank towards the bottom, but that doesn't mean it's an unworthy disc. It just means projects like Safety and Naomi's Solar Pumpkin are superior in quality.
Brian A. Smith