By: Jeremy Fleischer
This is the first recording we’ve heard from The Ugly Architect, the work of Fort Collins’ singer-songwriter William S. , and it shows great promise. Perhaps that sounds like a back-handed compliment, but it’s meant to be taken at face value.
This album has some real strengths, most notably the lyrics. The title “singer-songwriter” comes with the implication that lyrics are tantamount to any other element, and The Ugly Architect delivers with great poetry. Lyrics take turns with clever phrases and hard-hitting imagery, as on the opener, “Leaving California,” where he sings, “I don’t mind the weather / but the water tastes like, rust.” You can taste rust, just as you feel so much else in the lyrics.
The albums’ shortcoming lies in how long we’re allowed in each of the songs’ worlds. All but one song is under three minutes, with some ending somewhat abruptly. Time is not the issue, however, it’s that these songs want more room. There’s also some great horns and other instrumental work here, but we don’t get enough development to feel fulfilled. Instead, the album feels like vignettes of songs still in process, which perhaps it is, which is why this EP shows great promise for what it will become.
Studio: State Line Studios
Co-Engineers: Collin Ingram and Riley Sbrana
Mastering Engineer: Kris Smith, Bridgeway Recording
Release date: June 10, 2016