ALBUM REVIEW: Tilian Pearson – The Skeptic

Release Date: September 28th 2018
Label: Rise Records


Coming mere months after the release of ‘Artificial Selection’, the latest full-length from his main project Dance Gavin Dance, singer/songwriter Tilian Pearson is keeping the material coming by releasing his third solo record, ‘The Skeptic’.

His newest outing as a solo artist is easily his most solid effort to date. His combination of electronics with his raspy vocals highlight how well he can generate emotion and make something that’s uniquely his own.

Produced by friend and long-time collaborator Kris Crummett, ‘The Skeptic’ is a testament to his and Crummet‘s musical talents, with Pearson manning vocal, guitar, bass, and keyboard duties, with Crummett handling drums and percussion.

The record opens with guitars and a steady drumbeat that together introduce ‘Made Of Plastic’, an indie-pop track equipped with catchy melodies. The track is an entrance into this personal and reflective record, and one that sees Pearson questioning not just the intentions of the world around him, but his own as well.

‘Cocky’ is wonderfully perky and features a get-up-and-dance sound. This provides a stark contrast to the lyrics thart carry an underlying confessional tone. Similarly, tracks such as ‘Gone’ have an electronic EDM backbeat, allowing Pearson to continue his confessions with an uplifting tone.

In contrast, there’s a sense of vulnerability on ‘Hold On’ where the lyrics aren’t masked by anything – it’s his voice at the focal point. This frank lyrical side continues on ‘Blame It On Rock And Roll’, lamenting the ups and downs of his career to date. This is arguably the best track on this record, immediately kicking off with energetic guitars and relatively simple drumbeat, and Pearson‘s vocals are raspier than ever.

Indeed, his truly distinct vocals and lyrics provide the centrepiece for ‘The Skeptic’. Throughout the record, he explores the world around him, and love in particular. Lyrically speaking, he has the incredible ability to place a discerning spotlight onto himself, creating a complete confessional tone. There is love mourned, confessions of admitted personal flaws, and quite a few drunken conversations, all amounting to a personal collection that provides a glimpse into the Pearson‘s heart. It’s raw and honest.

‘The Skeptic’ is a huge success from beginning to end. There was never any denying Tilian Pearson‘s talent, but with this third instalment he has truly gone above and beyond expectations. A brutally honest yet beautiful collection of tracks, there’s a song for everyone and proves that he is, in fact, a master of songwriting.