Music collective The Tibbs officially released its sophomore album Another Shot Fired Friday. The 13-song record is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of listeners. From fans of vintage soul and R&B to The Tibbs’ own fan base, the 44-minute record proves itself to be an enjoyable record from start to end. One of the songs that makes the record so enjoyable is its lead single, ‘Damaged Heart.’ It will be discussed shortly. The album’s midpoint, ‘Mama Says’ does its own share to show what makes The Tibbs’ new album so enjoyable. It will be addressed a little later. ‘Circeo,’ which comes late in the record’s run, is yet another positive addition to Another Shot Fired. It will also be discussed later. When it is considered alongside the other two songs noted here and the rest of the album’s run, the album in whole finds itself leaving listeners anxious for The Tibbs’ next musical shot in the best way possible.
The Tibbs’ sophomore album Another Shot Fired is some strong musical firepower from the up-and-coming neo-soul/R&B outfit. That is proven in part early on through the album’s lead single, ‘ Damaged Heart.’ The musical arrangement featured in the song plays its own key part in supporting the noted statement. It is a throwback to the R&B sounds of the 1960s and 70s with its horns, funky guitar rhythms and drums. Roxanne Hartog’s vocal delivery here adds to that sense, too. Adding to the arrangement’s appeal is the way in which it was produced. There is something in the production that is so wonderful. From the raw sound of the snare drum to the smooth sound of Hartog’s vocal delivery and the richness in the horns makes the overall sound come across as if the whole had been bottled up in a time capsule since the end of the 1970s. It is such an infectious presentation in itself that will have listeners wanting to hit the dance floor Ironically, as upbeat as the song is in its musical arrangement, that positive nature is counter to the song’s lyrical theme.
According to a statement from The Tibbs, the song’s lyrical theme is actually very heavy yet accessible to audiences.
“‘Damaged Heart’ is about the uncertainty that one might bring from past experiences into a new relationship and the fear of not being able to give oneself completely,” the statement reads. “The bright spot being the openness with which this uncertainty is raised. Altogether, Damaged Heart could – despite the irreparable harm that is suggested is in the title – very well be interpreted as a love song …”
The statement is made clear as Hartog sings in the song’s lead verse, “My baby and I/We get by/But oh, sometimes/I can’t describe/This feeling creeps up on me/I wouldn’t say it’s a jealousy/But I can’t deny/I can’t deny/I can’t remember/When I last/Felt so deep longing/For someone in the past/This truth, it haunts me/In the night/Putting my heart…/I can’t deny/Couldn’t tell you why…” Some of this is a bit difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference, but what is clearly being mentioned here is someone who wants to have gone past a previous relationship, but can’t help but think of that past situation. This would seem to work in tandem with the statement about the song’s lyrical theme. From there, she mentions in the song’s second verse what sounds like she is saying, “My damaged heart/has to learn.” Again not having a lyrics sheet to reference makes deciphering precisely, the lyrics here difficult. That aside, the message is relatively clear. This is in fact someone who is trying to get over a past relationship, but is having some difficulty in doing so. Going back to the song’s musical arrangement, it is even more evident how stark the contrast is in the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content. It makes for quite the interesting presentation and just one example of what makes the album in whole so interesting. ‘Mama Says,’ which serves as the album’s midpoint, is another notable entry to this record.
‘Mama Says’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangement. This song’s arrangement is a catchy, mid-tempo blues-infused work. It starts off simple with just Hartog’s vocals alongside a simple bluesy guitar line and some clapping. As the song progresses, drums and a tambourine join in, but only subtly at best. It is not until more than a minute and a half into the song that the arrangement picks up, including the addition of the horns to add some more flash. The arrangement in whole lends itself easily to a comparison to works from The Tibbs’ label mates Hannah Williams & The Affirmations. The energy in the song’s arrangement pairs well with the song’s lyrical theme, which is a tribute to one of the band members’ moms on one level. On another, it is a song that echoes the appreciation that we all have for our mothers.
Hartog sings in the tribute’s lead verse, “My mama is the strongest girl I know/My mama is the strongest girl I know/She taught how to fly/She taught me how to sing/She taught me how to cry/She taught me everything I know/She said, “Don’t give up on yourself/She’s the strongest/She’s the sweetest/She’s the toughest/She’s the softest/She’s a goddess…” As the song progresses, Hartog even sings, that the mother told her to “keep your head up high.” The rest of the song follows much in the same vein, lyrically speaking. The whole becomes a lyrical presentation that will put a smile on every listener’s face. That is even more certain when this positive lyrical message is paired with the song’s equally uplifting musical arrangement. All things considered here, the song shows even more why Another Shot Fired is another power packed musical round from The Tibbs. It still is not the last of the record’s most notable tracks, either. ‘Circeo,’ which comes late in the record’s run, is one more of the many enjoyable entries in this record.
‘Circeo’ is a full-on instrumental composition. There are no vocals here. It is just the band putting its talents on full display. This three-minute, 42-second composition is a solid mix of vintage soul and R&B what with its horns, bolstered by the baritone sax, the solid, simple time keeping on the drums and the equally simple but strong guitar line. The groove that the group establishes in this opus is so infectious. It takes only a matter of moments for audiences to become wholly engaged in the song and entertained. The way in which the arrangement was composed, it would be so easy to add any lyrics. That is evident as the chorus and verse sections are that clear throughout the song’s nearly four-minute run. Nevermind that the arrangement is not exactly progressive. It is just so fun and engaging that it is so easy to overlook its simple approach. Keeping that in mind, it proves itself to be just as welcome an addition to Another Shot Fired as the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries. When all of the album’s songs are considered together, they make Another Shot Fired a presentation that audiences will hope is not the last musical round to be fired off by The Tibbs.
The Tibbs’ sophomore album Another Shot Fired is an impressive new offering that will appeal to a wide range of listeners. That is proven from the album’s open to its end through its musical and lyrical content. That is proven through all three of the songs examined here. When these songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album becomes a presentation that is without question, one more of this year’s top new independent albums at the very least and a work that vintage soul and R&B purists will enjoy hearing just as much as The Tibbs’ established fan base. The record is available now.
More information on The Tibbs’ new album is available along with all of the group’s news at:
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