Preview Take Time by Thor Platter.
Take Time by Thor Platter
Some songs sound entirely natural, as though they had been found rather than written. On Take Time, Thor Platter displays an uncanny knack for writing songs that sound, on a first listen, like you’ve known them for years.
Platter’s music is simple and sturdy—three-chord symphonies performed on acoustic instruments. But the apparent simplicity is deceptive. The songs on “Take Time” are short stories, sketched out in a way that suggests more than it tells. Platter sings in an easy, unforced style—perpetually behind the beat—that reinforces the unpretentious quality of his music. And he is expertly backed by Paul Kovac (banjo) and Paul Lewis (bass), whose solid playing exemplify what it means to support the song. (They also sing excellent harmony to Platter’s lead vocals.)
“Destined,” the opening song of the album, sets the tone with an easy shuffle. Resting on a foundation of slow rolling banjo, acoustic guitars and bass, Platter sings about childhood in Buffalo, N.Y., dreaming of life in the big city before moving “just a little west” (Cleveland, Ohio). “Open Up Your Heart” sounds a similar note, with lyrics that offer relationship advice to a friend.
The album’s title is drawn from the lyric of “Fallout,” a melancholy song about the connections and shared history of estranged lovers and friends. Thematically, it is the heart of the album. All the songs on “Take Time” concern relationships—whether strained by time and circumstance or enduring beyond all challenges.
The highlight of the entire album, for me, is “Captain Black.” The song’s title is a reference to the pipe tobacco in a blue pouch that Platter’s father smoked. The song is a loving remembrance of his late father, centered on fishing trips that they took. Some songwriters would be tempted to emphasize the sorrow of the father’s passing; Platter focuses on an appreciating his dad and the time that they spent together.
He was my old man and he was my best friend
I don’t know when I’m gonna see him again
But that’s all part of this life
“Since I’ve Been Gone” demonstrates Platter’s gift for penning memorable lyrics. It’s an upbeat song about how people and places change with the passage of time. It starts with just strummed guitar for accompaniment as the song opens with its chorus.
How these trees have grown since I’ve been gone.
And the leaves have fallen on the lawn.
You might think I’m standing all alone.
But these trees have grown since I’ve been gone.
As the chorus draws to a close, the instruments kick into action and the song picks up steam. Following a verse and chorus, the song opens into an extended banjo solo—a phrase that might fill some people with fear—that offers the trio the chance to stretch out a bit and show off their instrumental prowess.
The album also features some fine ballads, including “There For You.” Platter’s cover of the Jay Farrar song, “Tear Stained Eye,” is particularly well done. With its longing theme, it’s a great choice to complement the original songs on the album. It also demonstrates his ability as a performer and interpreter.
“Take Time” is a supremely confident album, and it’s all the more impressive when you consider that it’s Platter’s debut.