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4.7 out of 5 stars
Tim
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2004
It may have a rather modest title, but "Tim" is one monster of an album, easily deserving of the considerable praise it's earned over the years since its release. Led by the impassioned howl of Paul Westerberg and the incendiary guitars of Bob Stinson, the Replacements here cranked out a memorable collection of rousing anthems and brash rockers, with a few curveballs throw in just for good measure. Westerberg's lyrics told tales of hopes, dreams, fears, and disappointments in a way that just anyone can relate to, without pandering to the lowest common denominator like so many of the lousy "look at me; I'm so angst-ridden" alterna-lite bands crowding the airwaves nowadays. The result is a collection of stories that's alternately cocky, poignant, and upbeat, and always insightful. The album's finest cut, "Bastards of Young," a Springsteenesque tale of the struggles of the working class, especially deserves to be quoted at length:
"The ones that love us best
Are the ones we'll lay to rest
And visit their graves on holidays at best
And the ones that love us least
Are the ones we'll try to please
If it's any consolation, I don't begin to understand."
There are a few other classics to be found here as well. There's the twangy foot-stomper "I'll Buy;" the yearning "Kiss Me on the Bus;" the raucous "Dose of Thunder;" the swinging, ultra-catchy "Waitress in the Sky;" and the heart-rending domestic woe of "Little Mascara." And it's all topped off with "Here Comes a Regular," an acoustic ballad about the bonds between drinking buddies that somehow manages to be both depressing and uplifting at the same time. It takes a truly gifted composer to pull off such a song, but fortunately Westerberg is more than up to the task, as he more than amply proves on this album. Vocally, musically, and lyrically, "Tim" is a classic album that belongs in any good music collection. Period.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2002
I had heard of The Replacements a long time ago, but had never heard their music until recently. I started with this cd, and I really think there's some great stuff here. In the opening verse of the first track, "Hold My Life," you hear the line "down on all fives"...that conjures up a stark image of someone who's a mess, and if you know the history of the band, you know they were a mess. And you can hear that on this cd, in all its ragged glory. Some songs are loud and raucous (Dose of Thunder, Bastards of Young, Lay it Down Clown) and some have a slightly pop feel (Swinging Party, Left of the Dial, Little Mascara). "Waitress in the Sky" is an anthem for anyone who has ever been dissed by a flight attendant, and is quite funny, too. The absolute highlight for me is the closing song on the disc, "Here Comes a Regular." It's about a fellow that spends all his time in a bar, and when Paul Westerberg sings the line "Am I the only one who feels ashamed?" it just about breaks your heart. This is a really great cd, and I wished I wouldn't of waited so long to check out this group.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Among Mats fans in Houston Tx, this was regarded as their crowning jewel by unanimous account! Recognizing its brilliance, feels like having seen Van Gogh for a genius before the world took notice, and then seeing the bandwagon begin.

Westerberg achieved high art when he expressed the sorrow and pain and joy of growing up, all at once. So complex for such simple songs here.

My favorite line of all time 'little girls keep growing up, playing makeup and wearing guitar'. Was that not growing up 'punk rock' before it became a shopping mall fad?

In the summer they played a show in Galveston, if 'played', =30 minutes of missed bar chords before PW crashed into the drum kit. Shows over punkers! Wow, what a privilege to experienced this moment in history, the beginning and end of American underground rock, and this their crowning jewel.

It is so good, any cool 15 year old can pick it up and instantly get why it is brilliant.

It is timeless, like any great work of art, music or otherwise.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2002
I finally got around to listening to this album nearly 10 years after it came out, and all I can say is: What a difference a DECADE makes. By the summer of 1995, the 'Mats had long since parted ways, of course, and Paul Westerberg, then as now, wasn't at all on the path to commercial stardom -- although he'd still become a credibility staple on "music revolution"-era MTV and on various soundtracks (including the one for "Melrose Place," if I recall). At the time, the whole "alternative rock" genre was undergoing a sort of transitional phase that, in hindsight, can really only be labeled as the start of its decline: Grunge was dead; "nu-rock" still hadn't rolled over in its cradle; the hot new band of the moment was . . . SPONGE?
I got this CD, in fact, at a kind-of-a-chain record store in the 'burbs that was hosting an in-store with some of the DJs (none of whom are still broadcasting here) from the local "alternative rock" station. I put my name in a drawing for some prizes that they were giving away and then lost interest in their self-promotion after about five minutes. Hell, they may have even called my name, too, for all I know. By then, I'd gone through the aisles and found something by a band that, according to everything that I'd been told in the '90s press, absolutely NOBODY had ever seen or heard of while they were around. And I was much too busy wandering through the music to care about scoring a free bumper sticker.
"Tim" is definitely easy to get lost in, too. The only thing that keeps this album from being one of the all-time great headphone albums of the '80s is just acoustics: About half the songs are loud, sloppy and occasionally snotty little rockers that the band members played while almost certainly drunk and in a slightly more focused and direct manner than at those concerts that nobody (blink, blink) showed up at. The other half are acoustic-based jaunts with this weird echoic quality that almost makes them sound as though you're listening to them from the other end of a long, empty hall (not unlike the one depicted on the bottom of the cover). The more accurate title, then, would probably be Best Album to Listen to Alone While Sitting on the Edge of Your Bed. After all, contrary to what most big rock stars of any age would claim, that's about the only part of the bed where the music usually means anything anyway.
As for the songs themselves, there's just about no way to describe them that a simple listen to them wouldn't far surpass. "Left of the Dial" is a fairly heartfelt ode to, technically, the underground music scene of the time -- and the guitar riffs do beat the spandex off most other mainstream "power rock" ballads of the '80s. (It made me immediately forget all about "And We Danced" by the Hooters -- another song that was oddly stuck in my head 10 years after I accepted it as given.) "Bastards of Young" needs no description whatsoever, except to say that it obviously made for one of the few videos in history that actually didn't ruin the song (in fact, ENHANCED it) and should be required listening for any high school or college graduate -- or, these being the Replacements, enlightened drop-out -- without a plum job, car or relationship (of ANY kind) on the near horizon. I imagine that the CD version of "Tim" slightly diminishes its effect, though, because that opening guitar salvo and Paul's drunken yell can't WALLOP you from the very start of a Side 2, just as his sigh and the slow, laid-back feel of "Swingin' Party" can't come to a good rest at the end of a Side 1. And to call "Here Comes a Regular" a great piece of literature doesn't convey the meaning and poignancy of it at all: Even if you're not an alcoholic and don't shed tears too easily, that song will just touch you every time. It never fails.
Of course, if you go by just Paul's lyrics (which just about no one who has this album would probably blame you for), you'll find that "Tim" isn't exactly the sunniest album ever reeled. The sentiments expressed here include co-dependence ("Hold My Life," "Here Comes a Regular"), female-directed derision ("Waitress in the Sky," "Little Mascara), loneliness ("Swingin' Party," "Left of the Dial") and self-dissolution ("I'll Buy," "Dose of Thunder," "Bastards of Young") -- and a lot of those can even be interchangeable in some cases. Hell, even "Kiss Me on the Bus," the album's single and the closest it comes to a "love" song, could be just as easily be about a guy trying to get laid before he gets off (the bus). But it's a real testament to the power and talent that the Replacements had that they managed to make these dark little slices of life sound so human -- AND kick your ass musically in the process.
Given the state of what "alternative rock" has since become in the past seven years, it seems that most people prefer their musical declarations not only with simpler lyrics but also simpler EMOTIONS -- as well as in videos that aren't grainy black & white, have more than one shot and don't feature the destruction of the machine that supplies the soundtrack (hissing and popping, no overdubs). Playing "Tim" for a room full of strangers will probably make you fewer friends now that it would have over the previous decade. But the ones you do make may well be turn out to be your friends -- if not edge-of-the-bed partners -- for at least a while.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2011
Howdy !
'Tim' is one of the best releases of the 1980's and, in my very humble opinion,
the second best release by the Replacements, just a hair behind "Let It Be".
Every song on 'Tim' is either very good or classic !
"Waitress in the sky, Bastards of the young, Left of the dial, Swingin' party"
are all essential Replacements classics.
But my favorite is "Here Comes A Regular"
a sad song about losers in a bar.
One of my all-time favorites.
I remember Westerberg got some static about writing ballads but I
thought they were his best songs, like "Unsatisfied" from the previous album.
Not many can write about heartache the way Paul can.
I saw them on the "Don't Tell A Soul" tour and I wish I saw them more.

The album is a classic so buy it.
The bonus tracks are really nothing special.
Whatever. At least the cd sounds great and it is an upgrade.

Robert
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 1999
At the time this album was released, i was far too into punk music and being "open-minded" to ever think of listening to anything that remotely sounded like this. Big mistake.
Man, this is THE replacements album. I live within driving distance of Minneapolis, so I could see, hear, and feel the sound of the Midwest in the 1980's. I wish i was a fan "back in the day".
Every time I pop this in the CD player, I am saddened by the fact I didn't discover this band earlier. If you grew up in the Midwest, i think you can feel something in this disc that others cannot. Amazing songwriting and melodies.
If you've wondered what the Replacements sound like and are considering buying a disc, start with this one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2005
My words cannot appreciate this beautiful piece of mid-eighties rock n' roll glory. This was my first Mats album and after becoming a big fan, I have noticed that Paul Westerberg has became this metaphysical saint-like figure in the audible cosmic atmosphere called "rock music." From talking to different sorts of people, I have noticed that Westerberg has activated two extremes within the hearts of folks who have heard the Mats or Westerberg's solo stuff... they love him or hate him. How on God's green Earth can you hate a genius like Westerberg? From those who adore Paul, they have noticed that Westerberg has the ability to write songs that are about what an individual has felt or is currently feeling or going through. This is done in such a deep way, his lyrics are connected online to the human heart, mind, and nervous system.

All these songs are good. "Hold My Life" kicks off the album and this particular track is one of those songs that I am attached to. The Replacements dive into a pool of diversity on this album, beautifully blending the elements of popular American music past and present. "I'll Buy" is a rockabilly/country rocker, "Bastards of Young" is an electric anthem that is timeless, full of distorted rage and the acne of innocent youth. "Kiss Me On The Bus" is a romantic ditty, placing the listener into a realm where you mystically envision a first kiss, or remember your own. Country, folk, rock,...whatever it is. The Mats took these genres and made them their own.

Tim is the last album to have guitar-wildman, Bob Stinson, and their first major label debut on the then-hot Sire Records. I should also mention the album is produced by Tommy Ramone.

Maybe someday, Sire or Warner Bros, will rerelease this album with bonus tracks, not to mention the rough version of "Can't Hardly Wait."

God Bless Paul Westerberg
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2003
Sadly I never got the chance to be obsessed with this band, but I can see why other people were - Westerberg doesn't just write great songs; he projects (for this record at least) an immensely likeable personality without trying to. Sort of like Malkmus and Dylan. They might be nothing like what they seem, but listen to their music and they feel like they'd be great to hang out with. Apparently Westerberg's newer material paints him as a bit of a self-pitying sap, but this album is full of lyrics that are more honest and striking than any amount of sad sack, me-and-a-guitar weepings:
The ones that love us best
Are the ones we'll lay to rest
And visit their graves on holidays at best.
The ones that love us least
Are the ones we'll die to please
If it's any consolation, I don't begin to understand.
It's no consolation, but it's a great song - and other than Dose of Thunder and Lay It Down Clown, every song on here is great. All delivered in a great rock snarl: even the ballads don't feel slicked up despite the tame production, because there's no slicking up Westerberg's voice. Nothing's better than a band that can swing from the poetry of Here Comes a Regular to a great sloppy stupid rock song like I'll Buy to the hilarious Waitress in the Sky, which is so catchy you'll keep listening to it even after the joke is old.
(My only complaint: I hate buying a CD, pulling out the insert, and discovering that it's just one sheet with basic information about who played what on what song. These guys are a great band: get some stupid rock critic gushing about them, or an interview with Westerberg - something, for god's sake! I like flipping through those fat little booklets; I feel like I'm getting my money's worth.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2002
tim is a classic album, and one of the few albums to survive the eighties. it ranks up their with the joshua tree and metallica's master of puppets as the greatest albums of the 80's. it was ranked #4 by alternative press's greatest albums from 1985-1995 list. tim is the replacements best, most consistent album, and doesn't have a bad song on it. tim has something on it for everyone from the power pop of "dose of thunder" and "lay it down clown" to the rockabilly of "i'll buy" and "waitress in the sky" to the rock anthems "bastards of young" and "left of the dial" to straight out rock tracks "hold my life and "little mascara." westerberg also writes the best ballads he ever wrote with "swinging party" and "here comes a regular." with "bastards of young," westerberg writes the perfect generation x anthem. when anyone mentions the replacements, most people usually say "how did they not make it big and sell albums." but tim influenced a generation of musicians from nirvana to the goo goo dolls, and their album sales are a testament to the greatness and undeniable influence of the replacements, perhaps the greatest band of the '80's.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2005
While this album doesn't seem to recieve as much praise as its predescessor Let It Be or its followup Pleased To Meet Me get, song-for-song this is easily the Replacements' best. Most of the complaints seem to center on Tommy Ramone's production--it does sound a little hollow, a little too smooth compared to the raucous earlier albums, but it's not that big a deal.

Not with songs as good as these. You've got great helpings of post-punk teenage romanticism (Hold My Life, Kiss Me On The Bus, Bastards Of Young, Left Of The Dial), a hilarious kiss-off (Waitress In The Sky), and a couple of poignant drinking songs that somehow manage to avoid being whiny (Swingin' Party and the legendary Here Comes A Regular, perhaps my fave Westerburg song period).

What little of the endearingly sloppy, raw feel the band lost in the transition to a major label, they gain in tunefulness. In particular, Bastards Of Young has a melody I would give my left kidney for, and I'll Buy and Little Mascara aren't far behind. Bob Stinson's guitar playing is suitably energetic, Westerburg's voice hadn't lost its youthful edge, and the lyrics are some of the best I've ever read. Poignant, heartrending, funny, just brilliant:

"Kneeling alongside old Sad Eyes

He says opportunity knocks once then the door slams shut

All I know is I'm sick of everything that my money can buy

The fool who wastes his life, God rest his guts"

"The ones who love us best are the ones we'll lay to rest

And visit their graves on holidays at best

The ones who love us least are the ones we'll die to please

If it's any consolation, I don't begin to understand"

Even the so-called "filler" tracks (Dose Of Thunder, Lay It Down Clown) are listenable. Ignore Paul's current sad-sack songwriter incarnation; pick up this album post-haste, and enjoy a touchstone of '80s indie rock.
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