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William The Contractor: Tall Stories

William The Contractor - Tall STories (2011)Crying Bob Records

People need to put labels on things. That’s an old story, I suppose. Therefore, if you need to put a label on this album, it would definitely say “acoustic”. If that’s not your kind of thing, you can stop reading this article now, or, if you were into being convinced of coming over to the folky side of things, stay with us for a while, for William The Contractor masters the task of mixing varieties of (mainly) acoustic music into an interesting album.Usually being occupied as the drummer of Friska Viljor or guitarist of Stomping Souls, Markus Bergqvist has now made a solo album that hasn’t much to do with the mostly easygoing, cheerful touch of his other projects, but rather approaches issues from a more thoughtful, sometimes gloomy point of view. Reading about how William The Contractor came into being, this is no surprise, though, for the catalyst of finally working on his very own songs was Markus’s father’s sudden death and his mother’s wish to sing at the funeral. However, this album is far more than “just” a means of mourning, as one might erroneously suppose, but, as the title implies, a collection of different kinds of stories.And there are several stories to be told, Tall Stories, which William The Contractor makes accessible to us by singing songs to us. There’s stories of jealousy (Lady And A Snake), stories of broken hearts and their fatal outcomes (Hanna Hanged Him High – now, that’s an alliteration, eh?), stories of reflecting your life (Daydreams, Warehouseman), stories of old, mean hags living up in your house (Old Witch) and more.Musically, you get to experience the said mix of different genres sometimes featuring more instruments, with the main theme being William’s (or rather Markus’s) acoustic guitar, which weaves the songs together. In one song, you can find yourself in a Country setting, as for example in Black Gold, in which the narrator accuses “mad men searching for the last black gold [...] raping every land for more”, or in a rocking setting in My Little Man, which again tells a story, this time of a certainly wild time in good old Germany (“My friends and I are hanging out on Reeperbahn doing nothing at all.”).In the end, it’s the beautiful melodies and lyrics that stick to your mind, such as the sweetest marriage proposal Marry Me, which almost every woman I know would die for (“Since I can’t move on without you, can I ask you, honestly, baby, maybe, darling, won’t you marry me?”) and finally, the choke-back-your-tears guarantor Above The Clouds, which is most definitely dedicated to William, Markus’s father (“And you will always be above the clouds I see / If I just could go back and hold you once again / Your arms would heal my heart of steel”).If you don’t like acoustic albums, that’s fine with me, but give this one a try, as it’s certainly different in comparison to your mediocre lame acoustic album and it comes across with sometimes questioning, sometimes pretty melodies and stories that deserve to be heard.

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