I never would have taken Tim Heidecker of Tim and Eric fame to have been such a prolific songwriter, but here we are with his third album in three years. With What The Brokenhearted Do and Fear Of Death, released 2019 and 2020 respectively, Heidecker showed he had a knack for classic singer/songwriter fare. Introspective lyrics and guitar/piano-led songs that were from a tradition of songwriters like Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, and Van Dyke Parks while fitting with more modern indie acts, Tim Heidecker was making earnest rock songs that felt lived in and classic.
On his newest album called High School, Tim Heidecker takes us back to his formative years. The album is a personal set of songs about Heidecker growing up in Allentown, PA and finding a passion for music. Locking into a more easy-breezy sound that reflects his work with guys like Mac Demarco and Kurt Vile, High School is a fun and hook-filled pop rock record.
“Buddy” opens things on a buoyant rhythm and upbeat acoustic guitar. The song is about a friend that could never quite get it together, but made a lasting impression. It’s a fun and at times melancholy track. “Chillin’ In Alaska” has an almost Dire Straits vibe as Heidecker sings about sharing a tent in Alaska with a girl he just met. “Get Back Down To Me” has an almost T. Rex groove while pulling more modern artists like Blake Mills and Liam Kazar.
I guess you could say this is adult contemporary music. Clean production, story-based songs, and the kind of stuff Lenny Waronker would have produced for Reprise and Warner back in the 70s. One of my favorite tracks though, would be the wonky “Sirens Of Titan” with Kurt Vile. It’s an odd little number that feels like it was written just for me. Vonnegut, Velvet Underground, and teen angst are all mentioned with some great guitar by Kurt Vile. This track stands apart from everything else here. Even Tim Heidecker’s vocal delivery is very Vile-ish.
High School is a great pop rock album. Tim Heidecker got some amazing friends to help out, too. Maybe the best yet from the guy that made a commercial for Totino’s Pizza Rolls and helped bring Dr. Steve Brule into our lives.