It's with a gentle set of handling instructions that Brooklyn musician/multimedia artist Tim Fite prefaces his latest album giveaway, Change of Heart, with. "I ask that you handle these songs with care, as they are very fragile.", writes Fite on his MySpace page. They are the result, after all, of a topsy turvy state of mind; one which suggests even wild showmen such at Mr. Fite (sometimes) get the blues.
Originally recorded while working on last year's Fair Ain't Fair album, Change of Heart matches dainty, cob-webbed sentiment with equally thin composition throughout most of the recording. Opener "Better Fence" laments, "I could pile up some elephants/I could try to build a better fence/To keep your hands inside my hands and your plans next to my plans" to a single acoustic guitar. Yes, it's a desperate notion for sure. But it's one that lives and breathes inside every last one of the ten songs offered here. For its' part, the title track, heightened only by some odd shuffling drums, touches on the unfortunate, fleeting qualities of human relationships ("It only takes a minute to have a change of heart"). "Hollow as a Light" deals with the excruciating separation of common property ("Your things were my things and my things were yours/These things were our things, they're not anymore") after a break up. And "Thinking About" plays witness to the kind of thoughts that rocket 'round the brain in the aftermath... all while the body is generally left in some cold, paralyzed state of being.
Playing the only real exception to Change of Heart's mostly quiet ruminations , "Getting By" provides the album's high water mark, evolving from a simple piano ballad into an eloquent swirl of punch drunk misery. With a sobbing trombone, a shimmering sheet of sleigh bells, some glitchy programming, and a hysteric, overdubbed chorus of vocals, the track recalls the cinematic work of Jon Brion, and captures that overwhelming feeling when just getting by is emough along the way.
Put simply, Change of Heart finds Fite abandoning (mostly) the stylized, artistic persona he's created over the years. In its' place is a humble musician rummaging painful emotions, tossing tokens of loss in to the heart's fire, and fanning the flames with the pain of a broken relationship. It's heart breaking, really, not to mention the most vulnerable material Fite has released to date. - David Pitz