911 - time will tell

911
Time Will Tell
Exile
1986

When I came across this album, there were quite a few questions that were pulsating through my noggin long before I ever got around to listening to it. How do you pronounce the name, as a for instance? Is it “Nine-One-One”? Or perhaps “Nine-Eleven”? I can’t seem to find any information anywhere, save for a small handful of obscure blogs that write a bit of a thing about how much they enjoy this one. No information as to band members, history or anything. The best I could find was a bit on Discogs.com and the Firestream Music Vault, and even those were rather sparse. All I had was the album release information, and the fact that this was one that was released in the mid-1980s, so since it was a relatively independent and obscure release, and never was released on CD (both the vinyl and cassette versions I’ve seen on eBay and Amazon go for stupid amounts of money for some reason).

Then I listened to the album. And I have to say that the lack of any kind of information, let alone CD releases or any re-releases of any kind, should come as no surprise, as Time Will Tell falls underneath the Really Really Lame Mid-1980s CCM AOR Rock That Should Be Forgotten Forever (Except When Doing A Best-Of-The-Worst List). I really need to shorten that title somehow. But anyway, while sometimes it takes me a bit to ponder what band or release to compare it to, this only took me a few seconds to formulate my comparison, and by the third song it was cemented: Starship. Specifically, Knee Deep In The Hoopla Starship. We’re talking keyboard-heavy pop rock that goes for the radio-friendly kind of edgy, which translates here into “safe”. Which, admittedly, was what a lot of Top 40 rock n’ roll was back in that time period. I know, I lived through that. So, in way, Time Will Tell was actually ensconced with the style of the time, instead of waiting until 1990 to release it. But, that still doesn’t excuse the fact that I just spent time I could have been listening to something good listening to this throwback to a time we’d rather forget about.

But, lest you think that I’m full of nothing but bile about this, I do admit that the production was decent, the musicians had some talent showing through (there’s some good guitar riffs shining through the lame), and the vocalists didn’t make my ears as sad as they could have. Although, there were a couple of times I had to keep myself from shouting “SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!” at the female vocalist.

So, here we have an example of an album that is languishing in obscurity for a good reason. If you enjoy lame corporate “rock”, then go ahead. Me, it’s a one-and-done thing. Pass.

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