It has only been a few years since Title Holder released their first single, “Animal”. After receiving rave reviews, they continued releasing more singles. During this time, they set free their debut EP, Story of My Life. After that, Matt Sullivan began writing their new album. While recording, he showed off his talents by playing guitar, bass, piano and organ, adding extra musical layers with Nik Bruzzese (drums), John James Ryan (tenor saxophone), Dave Heck (trombone), Matthew Stewart (trumpet), and Buddy Schuab (trombone). Together, they brought these songs to life to create the album What Better Time.
When you listen to the album, its opening tracks might feel familiar as they are from their EP Story of My Life. It is the perfect way to pull in fans, new and old. With the addition of new songs, it all comes together to create a collection of songs to showcase Title Holder. Sullivan is excited about what they have created. He says, “I’m incredibly proud of this record. Over the last three years, I’ve worked with many talented people to make this possible. Putting this out in the world finally is such an amazing feeling. I can’t wait to play these songs live for people”. Let’s find out What Better Time has to offer.
“Signs” opens up the album with its punchy soundtrack. It may not be as energetic as some of their other songs, but it still makes you smile and sing with its hook. It warms the listener up for “Animal”, its upbeat and infectious tone gets under your skin in a good way, compeling you to move and sing. Even more when the chorus kicks in, “I shouldn’t have given you my real name / In the first place / Like an animal I lose control / The words you said / They’re in my head”. The chemistry between the band and Sullivan’s vocals is why these guys sound so good. It helps to create one of the many outstanding tracks this release offers.
In a world that takes itself too seriously, ‘What Better Time’ for Title Holder to release an album to bring the fun back in your world!
When you listen to “Empty Apartment”, you hear a different side of the band. It slows things down as they share a story about leaving an apartment that holds special memories. Sullivan’s words reflect this in lines such as, “You can take me from the place that I love / But, you can never take my heart from it”. It perfectly showcases the lyrical and vocal talents of Sullivan. The mood changes as soon as “Hanging By a Thread” begins. Here is another good-time track where the music is king. It makes you want to jump around while singing along to, “When everything goes wrong / I just hope you’re there / This could fall apart at any moment / Everything’s just hanging by a thread”.
“It Doesn’t Matter” brings an angry/frustrated mood, but its tempo is still upbeat. The band is in fine form, especially with the mix of brass and woodwind instruments. Together they create a sound that flips the middle finger to those who call themselves leaders. While doing so, creating an anthem with the lines, “It doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter / What you say anymore”. Next up, “Story of My Life” with the message, “When you feel like everything isn’t going your way, you can always change it up and try something new. There’s always more to life”. The lyrics might have a more meaningful message, but the soundtrack still has that feel-good vibe. Let’s not forget the big hook that makes you sing along with the guys.
“What Better Time” begins with a deceptive slow intro. It soon bursts into life as the group brings back their uptempo goodness. Like many other songs, it features a hook that makes you sing with them. This time, with the lines, “I’ve had enough / Of all of this / The sleepless nights laying motionless / I know better now / I can’t do nothing / This is where my story begins”. The energy levels lower for “What You Do To Me”. Instead of the soundtrack grabbing the spotlight, its lyrical qualities by Sullivan take the stage. He shares a story summed up by the chorus, “Why do I say anything at all / Why do I pick up the phone when you call / and sit around thinking about what you do to me”.
Now for another standout track from the album, “Going Insane”. It is the perfect balance of Title Holder’s musical and lyrical qualities. The tempo switches, with the guys creating more of their energetic sounds. But, they also slow things down for the lines, “Down and out / I know I got a long way to go / Figure it out / I better take it all as it comes”. As for Sullivan’s words, he has a lot to say, some of it delivered in a manner that matches the mood. Again, he talks more about the emotions of a situation than a story, reflected when he shares, “I said I don’t know much about all my complications / They get me so frustrated / And now I think I’m going insane”. But this song is all about how it all comes together to create something that feels so right.
As “Can’t Imagine” begins with “I can’t imagine a world without you”, you notice something different. Who are these extra vocals? Sullivan is joined on the mic by his fiance Danielle Fanelli (who also shared her lyrical talents). The opening lines say what the song is about and makes up another infectious hook. As they blend their voices, the band mirrors the positive vibes of their words. As expected, it’s upbeat, bouncy and makes you want to jump around, as well as sing at the top of your voice to, “I can’t imagine a world without you / No I can’t imagine a world without you”. It’s another track that will stick with you (for all the right reasons).
Title Holder knows how to make music fun, and you can hear it within their album ‘What Better Time’
The feel-good factor continues with “Never Had a Chance in Hell” and “Far From Today”. Closing out the album is “Bring Back”, one of the best by Title Holder. It features all the qualities that make them stand out. Let’s start with the lyrics. It’s about enjoying life and not rushing to your destination. A feeling shared by, “Sometimes you gotta listen / To the world / What’s the rush / Good things take time to grow”. The soundtrack mixes it up to reflect the mood. They slow things down to get their story across. But, when the hook arrives, that trademark infectious sound appears. You can’t help but join in with, “Bring Back / Bring back all the things that made me / Let’s go back to the days / Where we started to see / That we would never turn around / Even if we amount to nothing”.
“Bring Back” is the perfect way to close out a superb debut album. But wait! Those who purchase this on vinyl will get a bonus track called “Only Reason”. But you’ll have to get the record to learn more about it. Whatever version of What Better Time you listen to or purchase, you’re guaranteed a good time. In a world that is a bit crazy, you need something to make you smile. Sullivan and the rest of the guys of Title Holder achieve this and much more. Give this release a listen today, and let the fun times roll!