September 27th, 2012 | Album reviews


Tim Heidecker
Titanic and Other Songs

Orion Read

Historically, when comedians pick up a guitar, the world cringes. However, we’ve come to expect something unique from Tim Heidecker, half of the comedy duo Tim and Eric. Fans know that music is a vital component of their humor: have you heard “Petite Feet” by Pusswhip Banggang? Here, Heidecker steps forward on his own and lands somewhere puzzling, between heartfelt songs and humor. The backstory: Heidecker hears an “internet rumor” that Bob Dylan will release a 14-minute song about the Titanic on his pending new album, so he thinks, “How can I beat him to the punch?” The song is delivered, in its entirety, in Dylan’s Desire-era nasal-whine, slinging lines like “The iceberg had torn into the side and caused a gash/While the people on deck were having a bash.” For me, the album’s musical highlight comes with “My Wife Is Wearing a Mask.” It’s a colorful grower with a barking dog and a grand eruption at the end. Referring to “Earthquake Blues,” a song in which everyone dies, Heidecker writes, “Guitar picking could be better … You’ll just have to live with it.” Perhaps this statement sums up the record. Bottom line is, it would’ve been easier for him to just say, “Wouldn’t it be funny if I recorded a song about the Titanic before Bob Dylan?” But to his credit, he actually did it. Maybe Titanic and Other Songs can serve as a reminder that an idea with no follow-through is about as useful as a guitar with no strings.

Devon Williams