You have no idea how heart stopping it is to know that Tyketto released their new album “Dig in Deep” (2012), which I have yet to hear and so a review won’t be in this post of of yet. At least for that particular album.
Now of course, most people have never heard of Tyketto (and who can blame them, they’re too lazy to go hunt for the good music even when it’s hiding in plain site. And for satisfaction guaranteed music, I see no reason to argue Tyketto’s deserving reputation.
This five-piece band consists (currently) of Danny Vaughn (vocals), Brooke St. James (lead guitar), Jimi Kennedy (bass), Michael Clayton (drums), and Bobby Lynch (keyboard). Fortunately, to date,the band has had few lineup changes and emerged with all its original members. But that’s not what makes them so great, so first and foremost, you have to hear them:
I’ll start on their debut album:
Don’t Come Easy
This song is the first track on their Debut album “Don’t Come Easy”, released 1991 by Geffen Records. The album was amazing, one of the best things I ever heard. Danny Vaughn had a high vocal range despite his deeper voice and sharper vibrato. That was the first thing that grabbed me in the very beginning. The opening guitar melody, courtesy of Brooke St James, was also grabbing to a high degree. The song (Forever Young) itself came across as one of the last Gen X anthems to me (which I can’t entirely relate to since I’m technically Gen Y). But what I loved the most was Danny’s rhyming pattern for the verses:
No sleeping/She waits tables late/Trying to stay tough/Never ending/However long she waits/It’s just not enough/
That’s the other thing I loved. The band isn’t one of those weird bands of today that sings of useless nonsense like partying and things I could honestly care less about. The lyrics of Forever Young tell a story of two “lovers” going nowhere and practically finding an escape together:
He’s sleeping late/No work around/Broken dreams come tumbling down/He’s been down every road in this old dead end town/
Alternatively, it could mean the fear or challenge of growing up, but it could come across one way or another:
Forever young/Time on our side/We’ve got tomorrow/We’ve got tonight/
But like Kurt Cobain, the band stressing good melody in every track. The second track on the album is “Wings”, with a more positive outlet:
If I only had the wings to fly, leave the chains of love below/Take my heart up in the sky, I would never let you go/If I could hear the thunder in your heart, I know my love would light the sky/I could do anything if I had the wings to fly
A heck, watch for yourself:
It’s almost like St. James has a knack for catchy riffs, as if he’s got a bit of Slash in him. But one song that REALLY stands out (and it was so good that it ended up on the following album as a ending track) is Standing Alone, which is really the door opener for how lyrically gifted Danny truly is:
I love the oxymoron:
I used the book of numbers by the silent telephone/I called up everyone I found, but didn’t talk to no one
And of course, acoustic rock isn’t dead. I love the delivery on Guitar, another stadium worthy ballad, that doesn’t need to be directly classified as a love song to avoid boring the heck outta me.
Sail away was the perfect medium of softrock and acoustic, something Tyketto would go on to perfect. I also loved how they were so dedicated to staying true to the songs themes: (I was lookin’ out on dry land, no intentions, I didn’t have no plans/That’s when I knew, no doubt, I had hit bottom and I was getting out/No more people to hold me down, fight the ghost in my hometown/All the walls will crumble down)
The band has proven for the second time on this album that they’ve mastered storytelling abilities right down to the actual “T”. A feat that I severely admire.
I could go on forever, but I’m yearning to get onto Strength in Numbers:
Strength in Numbers
The first time I heard this album, I though it was made in the 2010’s. Meaning? Truly good music will always stand the test of time. I love the opening of the title track “Strength in Numbers” (“Lord give me strength tonight!”) Jamie Scott replaces Kennedy on bass, but I’m okay with that, this album is incredible. “Rescue Me” could be the ultimate parallel to “Wings”, but “Write Your Name in the Sky”. The first time I heard it, the opening riff sounded like the ending on “November Rain” (Guns N’ Roses). And the chorus was extremely memorable:
Write your name in the sky, set it flying so high/Let the wind blow it my way (write your name in the sky)/Throw a message in the sea, send it sailing to me/Take these clouds from my eyes, write your name in the sky
But if I said that was my favorite song, I would be lying. The best song on this track was “Meet Me in the Night”. The song is almost legendary to me, with it’s softer opening and some of the most poetic lines I’ve ever heard in my life. So much that I did several school assignments on it. I love the blend of metaphors and the repeated contradictions:
Somebody’s calling out your secret name/And your window’s being kissed by stones/Baby can you hear my silent serenade/When I’m standing in the dark alone
We could never show, and we could never tell/’Bout the wildfire in our veins/Crashing down the doors and breaking all the spells/’Till nothing but the love remains
It’s almost as if they took Forever Young and rearranged it into a softer, milder ballad. BUT IT’S PERFECT. And I love the pre-chorus:
Colours clash, colours fly, colours bleed when the tears run dry/Colours run, but they can’t hide, still we gotta try
GOLD. OR at least it should have been my opinion…
Shine I liked the least, simply because Danny was gone (According to the bio on their site, Danny’s wife had cancer, and seeing he remarried a few years ago, I hope that doesn’t mean she passed…) As a result (of all people) Steve Augeri replaced Vaughn (seriously?) Steve is sometimes known to over stress his vocals on higher notes, in other words, You can tell he’s near the limit. That was the one problem I had with “Jamie”, but still, it’s better than NO TYKETTO. Word of advice Steve, Stick to Tall Tales…
The Last Sunset
Now this album was sad, because it nearly spelled the end of Tyketto. The concept of being underrated probably got to them, despite Danny’s return after an incredible bout of good music from “Vaughn”. The title track almost echoes this feeling:
From miles away like they were calling his name/Found a picture that he’d never seen, taken at the last bank in Abilene/So he says to his wife, “My running days are done”/And he sits on his porch and he lets them come
It almost sounds as if Danny is singing about himself/the band, but as we all know (or at least I KNOW), the band hasn’t kicked the bucket yet, and I know 100% that Tyketto’s 2012 album Dig In Deep is going to be a smash hit. And I’m saying that with complete optimism.
Long Live Tyketto!
Now go order Dig In Deep: