by Matthew Martin
I am still trying to figure out where I stand on Ronnie Fauss's new album, I Am The Man You Know I'm Not. I think that it has very strong instrumentation. The lyrics, on the other hand, are hit and miss. That's not to say that this album isn't worth a listen. There are songs on the album that make it a pretty appealing listen. As with many singer/songwriters, Fauss strikes both gold and gravel in the same song a few times. Take, for example, "A Pretty Nice Night for Houston." He writes some really strong and convincing lyrics. But, then he writes lines that seem a bit generic and lazy. I won't bias you with any examples- I think you should listen for yourself.
Enough of the things I don't care for, though. The opening song, "The Night Before The War" is one of the best offerings on the album. It's everything a great country song should be. It's a touching take on the atrocities of war that are hard to fathom prior to being deployed. We forget about those real people out there fighting our battles for us. Many times it's easy to think of them as far off characters. Fauss writes a song that is effective at reminding us that these are real people dealing with real consequences.
This album really hits the ground running, with Fauss writing his best songs in the first 3 tracks. The album slows down a bit after that with some tracks that I believe Fauss really fell short of that early promise on. He clearly has the ability (from listening to this album, solely) to write and record great country songs. He falls a bit with songs like "Pistols in the Air."
Fauss has written an album that, to me, is something of a grab bag of songs. He has written one of the better songs of 2012 with "The Night Before The War," but missed the mark on cuts like "Pistols in the Air." I think I Am The Man You Know I'm Not is worth your attention if for nothing more than the first half of the album. I'm glad that Ronnie Fauss is now on my radar. I look forward to seeing how he will hone his songwriting skills in the future. The music is there. The voice is there. The lyrics are almost there.
For another opinion on I Am The Man You Know I'm Not, check out Country California's review here.