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You Can Hold Me Down

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Album Review

There may be some irony in William Tell, former guitarist for Something Corporate, turning into something of a corporate rocker as he goes solo with 2007's You Can Hold Me Down, but then again, his old band never quite shied away from sounding like melodic corporate rock, either. Something Corporate always placed a stronger emphasis on pop than punk in their punk-pop — how could they not when their leader played piano and idolized Ben Folds? — to the extent that they never quite seemed punk, a sentiment that certainly carries over to You Can Hold Me Down, a record so polished that it positively glistens. Apart from an emo-styled sincerity in his lyrics (extending to his casual use of profanity) and how his sweet, plain voice quivers when he reaches for the big emotional notes, this album has no ties to any kind of underground music: it's a pop record and a middle-of-the-road one at that, filled with songs about love won and lost, all separated into navel-gazing power ballads and surging midtempo tunes that visibly strain at anthemic hooks they don't quite achieve. Tell isn't a particularly distinctive singer, but he's friendly enough to make these matter-of-fact tunes feel relatable and it helps that he can occasionally craft a good hook, as in the opener, "Jeannie," or the bouncy L.A. nightclub putdown "Fairfax (You're Still the Same)," which is helped immeasurably by the presence of his former Something Corporate cohort Andrew McMahon. These livelier numbers are where You Can Hold Me Down pulls listeners in — in every way, they're the ones with the hooks — but only those who find his sensitive pretty-boy persona charming will stick around for the rest, as they fall into that weird middle ground of sounding way too corporate for the underground and not tuneful enough for the mainstream audience for which it was designed.

Customer Reviews

What a surprise!

I didn't know what I was getting into when I bought this album. I just thought, it looked cool and I remember William from his Something Corporate days. However, after listening to it this morning for the first time, I was BLOWN AWAY. Seriously, who knew that he could deliver such lyrically haunting songs wrapped up in catchy melodies?! "Trouble" "Fairfax" and "Like You, Only Sweeter" are the songs that hit me hardest. They just show how much William has matured as an artist and I can't wait to see how he continues to grow. I highly recommend this album!!

Support This Glorious Music

William is my one of my bestfriends brothers and he is super uber talented with his music. Not one of the songs on this album are irritating or poorly written. Each has its own tune and sensational emotion that is given to the listener. Buy it and support my friend's brother.

Great, But No Comparison

I've always been a fan of Something Corporate and later Jack's Mannequin, and thats the only reason I know about William Tell, from SoCo. Also I heard Andrew had recorded the piano on Will's new record (Fairfax) and I had to download it. Lucky for Will, this is probably the catchiest song on the album and I was hooked. When I bought the album I was somewhat disappointed with the songs, but as I listened more and more, they grew on me, especially Young at Heart, Jeannie and of course Slipping Under and Fairfax. Overall, its a well rounded album, a bit repetetive, but its an easy listen, I definitly suggest it.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Singer/songwriter/guitarist William Tell was born and raised in southern California. His family had an interest in gospel music, and his father, a minister, taught him to play guitar. At college, he studied music business while writing songs and playing guitar. He joined the Orange County alt-rock band Something Corporate in 2001. In October of that year, the group released its debut EP, Audioboxer, on the Drive-Thru label, followed by their major-label debut album, Leaving Through the Window, on...
Full Bio
You Can Hold Me Down, William Tell
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