This article originally appeared in the Metro Herald on November 3rd 2014 // http://gometro.ie/2014/11/album-reviews-taylor-swift-tim-wheeler-annie-lennox/
Tim Wheeler: Lost Domain
Solo outings are usually reserved for musicians wishing to try new things or simply to fill time between tours and releases. But this debut offering from Ash frontman Tim Wheeler was inspired by personal tragedy. Having tempered his solo ambitions in lieu of a 20-year career with the Northern Irish trio, it was his father’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and his eventual death that prompted Wheeler to finally go it alone. Unsurprisingly then, Lost Domain represents a complete departure. The punchy punk-pop tunes of yore are gone, replaced with weighty atmospherics and a deep sense of introspection as Wheeler grapples with the implications of such a tumultuous event. The first half sees him as the conductor of the orchestra, presiding over reflective moments which surge into gushing, string-laden crescendos.
It’s surprisingly accomplished and deeply autobiographical. It also packs an emotional wallop and on Hospital – the album’s poignant high-point – it’s hard not to be moved by the sincerity of the delivery. With a weaker second half and a few bum notes it’s by no means perfect. But Wheeler hits more than he misses and ultimately delivers an album that feels both measured and cathartic.