The album begins with the poignant and poppy Telecaster-tinged single, "(Such A) Pretty Girl", setting the stage for the album's tale of the lifespan of an average relationship. The same feel is found in the wry "The Offer" and honest, tremelo-driven "Beauty's Excuse".
Seale also exhibits his acoustic, rootsy side on the delicate "Closer", graced by vocalist Caitlin Fuller, and "Tomorrow's Promise", featuring the guitar and writing talents of musician Shep Nolen. The inspirational power ballad "Broken Pieces" and the wistful "Winter" capture the more personal side of the human connection.
But Beautiful Mess has edgier moments as well. The hook-driven force of "Worth It" and punchy "Everybody's Bad Guy", both accentuated by driving Nolen solos, show Seale's ability to give a song a swift kick in the pants. Moreover, the same attutude is prevalent in the crunchy groove of "Break Your Spell" and the Westerberg-ian "Maybe Next Someday". The album finishes with the playfully raucus "Hey, Thanks", a tribute to both the trials and triumphs of romance.
Co-produced by Seale and Wes McDonald (who also handles the drum duties), the album was recorded in Athens, GA and reflects the same Southern power pop sensibility that spawned REM, Tommy Keane, Guadalcanal Diary, and the dB's in the 80's.
For anyone who appreciates a diverse blend of power pop, guitar-driven styles, who appreciates intelligent but accessible lyrics, who appreciates an artist who respects his listeners, Beautiful Mess is for you.
Check out the Simple Glances link on the left side of the page for Seale's first CD!
1. (Such A) Pretty Girl
2. Break Your Spell
3. Tomorrow's Promise
4. The Offer
5. Everybody's Bad Guy
6. Beauty's Excuse
8. Broken Pieces
9. Maybe Next Someday
10. Worth It
12. Hey, Thanks