I am partial to brevity in songs. I prefer it when a song has a distinct beginning, middle, and an end. It just seems more complete. Also, as a result of modern radio, I know that you fit more songs in an hour if the songs are about three minutes long. The majority of the songs on Having do not fit into that category. The longest song on the album clocks in at almost ten and a half minutes. I have to repeat that this feeling of short songs being "correct" and longer songs being-I don't know-a Yes song is just something that has been instilled in me from years of radio abuse. This is probably the greatest hurdle that Trespassers William will face. If there is any justice in the world, it is the only hurdles that they will face because the band shouldn't be missed.
Trespassers William have a glorious sound. Not in a church choir glorious but in a quality of the sound coming out of my speakers. You know when actors pretend to be high on acid and they talk about hearing colors? That is kind of what this is like without the actors. Trespasser William is what's in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction or what is in the trunk of the car in Repo Man. They are the idea of something that spills out of your speakers and envelopes you in their golden hue. Anna-Lynne Williams' siren song lures you into the band's capable grasp and you are held tight as you fall.
Each song on this album (produced by Dave Fridmann who has worked with such acts as Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, and Mogwai) has an amazing amount going on in it. But all the parts are balanced. None of them really call attention to itself, distinguishing itself from the other parts. In fact, until I read the liner notes, I didn't even know what the lyrics were. Having read the lyrics though, it is clear that Anna-Lynne's lyrics mold how the songs are laid out. She brings such melancholy both in the words and in her voice that it is pretty devastating to read. "Why can't you guess how I want to be loved/You can't even tell me what of me you need." she says in "What Of Me". "I know that we started/ I think that we ended." she says in "Safe, Sound". By the time I got done reading the lyrics, I wanted to beat up this guy. There is a song later on, "No One", that does suggest that the man was not entirely at fault in this failed relationship. "What would you say if I said this year has been only a dream that only we have been in./ No one else can sense all the harm I've done and it has always been our hands in a melded one." Look, no one is an angel and if the guy was singing the songs I would probably be on his side but-all things being equal-if he shows his face around here I'm going to have to open a can of whoop ass. Yeah, I'm tough.
Like I said before, I think the length of the songs is the only really hurdle that faces Trespassers William. There are some who may think that this is a shallow critique of the album but I would counter that they are the ones that need to be convinced to buy the album. The good news is that their previous album, Different Stars, has had a track used in the O.C. and another two were used in the soundtrack for a movie, A Love Song for Bobby Long. I hope that earlier exposure is enough to keep them on the radar of the casual listener who will seek out this album to give Trespassers William the success that they deserve.