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Bill Baird--Goodbye Vibrations (Self-Released)

24 August 2011

There are records about heartbreak, and then there are records. Endless may be the number of songs written about the pain of love lost, but rare are the albums with the right balance of pain and pathos, reflection and retrospection, done in a manner that makes you feel the artist’s pain, longing, hurt—and gives you, the listener, a dose of sympathy, regret, and understanding. Such is the case with Bill Baird‘s latest album, Goodbye Vibrations, a painful song cycle that delves into the pain of splitting up. “I guess my life is over so I best be gettin’ to Hell,” he sings on “Emotional Swings,” and that…well that sort of sums it up, doesn’t it? Dude is hurting, hurting bad. Unlike his work with Sunset or Sound Team, the music found on Goodbye Vibrations is spare, sparse, and simple, allowing the power of the heartbreak to be amplified by his plaintive voice. Underneath the pain, though, are some moving, beautiful songs. “Goodbye Dear Friend of Mind,” as painful as it is, captures the longing one feels in losing one’s love: “We both know that ‘Nothing gold can stay’/Still it seems a sad thing when a friend slips away.” Powerful. Listening to this record is not easy, and it’s not supposed to be. Still, there’s an underlying hopefulness in these eight songs—yeah, the man’s in pain, but in his expression comes relief via understanding, growth, and admittance—and that, of course, is the most important aspect of Goodbye Vibrations. (Self-Released)


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