TS Tadin- Pretty Boring

by | Nov 30, 2022 | Reviews

T.S. Tadin Pretty Boring (art by Ethan Tadin)


Pretty Boring is at times pretty, but never boring. T.S. Tadin’s latest record is a collection of smart and subtle indie pop, with laconic, dry vocals that evoke the everyday-life musings of Jonathan Richman or Courtney Barnett. Tadin does it all on Pretty Boring, adding just the right amount of fuzz, guitar flourishes, and keyboard touches to the otherwise uncluttered song arrangements. He makes all the right aesthetic choices over and within the hazy production and lazing vocals.


The Richman influence is apparent straight off in the first song “Clown From a Dystopian Town.” It’s a countrified groover, showcasing Tadin’s tasty guitar skills and evocative lyrics describing life in a downtrodden town.


The title track is Barnett-esque in its delivery and lyrics, filled with delightful turns of phrase that detail the ennui associated with our otherwise chaotic modern lives: “Try hard to live in the moment/but sometimes it gets pretty boring”; “My calendar’s filled with disappointment/each day is a dentist appointment.”



“Like a Flower” jars us out of our relaxed state with an arpeggiated piano introduction. No choruses here; a subtle shift in rhythm helps deliver Tadin’s thesis on falling in love:

Cuts through concrete
like a flower.
Cracking pavement
to devour
this desire
for self destruction,
is only vanity in vain.


A nice bit of fuzz guitar to starts off lead single “It’s a Drag.” It soon transitions into a bouncy Beatle rhythm mixed with just a little James Gang snarl. Here, Tadin’s piano playing is more of an insistent pounding, adding infectious heft to the solid groove he’s laying down on drums and bass.


“Better Cry Yourself to Sleep” takes a bit of a turn in a new direction. Tadin emerges from his chilled-out state to reach higher vocally and produce maybe the strongest melodies on the record. It’s an excursion into dreampop, but without the genre’s hallmarks of heavily reverbed vocals and overdriven guitars. “You can count on me/to take things too far,” Tadin begins the first verse, before rising to a worldless chorus that floats into the clouds. The simple strumming of acoustic and electric guitars, an ascending bassline, and washy cymbal crashes create an airy backdrop. Tadin sings a new verse from these heights before landing back on solid ground, returning to the initial verse. A gem of a tune.



There are more engaging moments on Pretty Boring. Tadin once again invokes the old Modern Lover, Jonathan Richman, on “I’ll Be Your Umbrella,” with the choice line, “It’s OK, I’ll be your umbrella, baby/I’ll keep you dry—that’s a lie.” On “Killin’ Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Tadin earnestly sings “Disinfect my soul/killin’ rock ‘n’ roll” over possibly the most rock ‘n’ roll beat of all time, the Bo Diddley Beat. (Think “I Want Candy.”)



Pretty Boring is charming, engaging, and cohesive, and showcases Tadin’s sharp songwriting talent, imaginative lyrics, and artful musical choices. He wears his influences on his sleeve, but is able to create his own inventive pop style. You’ll hear him lazily singing in your head long after the record is over.


Pretty Boring was self released and is available on all major streamers.




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