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Coming Home / This Road

by Timeseven

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Timeseven This Road Album Review by Music Reviewer Annie Reuter, Jan 5th 2011

William Hayden’s passion for music dates back to the 60’s. As a child, he dreamed of being a performer on “American Bandstand,” and from the first time he held a guitar in his hands, he was hooked. Many years and life lessons later, Hayden is back with his new group, Timeseven. Hayden wrote and composed each song on the 10-track release, This Road. Complete with tales of love, loss and life’s ups and downs, Hayden’s songs are emotional and realistic. Anyone who has witnessed love or heartache will find something to grasp onto. While the start of the LP provides much optimism during the early stages of a relationship, by the end of This Road, the honeymoon period is long over. Throughout the 10 tracks, the listener witnesses the first blossom of love to the mournful death and heartache of love lost, which is a true testament to Hayden’s ability and intricacies as a songwriter.

“Just Like You” introduces Timeseven with soft vocals, smooth guitar and percussion accompaniment. Williams’ refreshing singing style combined with delicate electric guitar interludes impress and quickly draws the listener in. “I’ve been waiting a long time to tell someone I love you/Now I’m thinking that someone is you/ I’ve been looking a long time for somebody just like you/I’ve been waiting a long time for you/I’ve traveled all around the world/Just to find your shining smile and face/And your hand holding mine,” Williams sings. With a soaring guitar interlude mid-song and solid percussion throughout, the album opener aptly entices listeners to delve into the remaining nine tracks. The next song, “Free” quickens the pace. Hayden’s introspective and uplifting lyrics mesh well with Williams’ singing style making a mark on the listener.

Hayden mentions in his biography the therapeutic process songwriting has on him. “Tapping into my own personal experiences and being as honest as I can, I hope my songs will touch a chord and resonate with the listener on a deep level. Thoughts and memories, whether of joy or heartbreak replaying over and again in my head, are now woven into my songs. Songwriting has helped me to heal from the inevitable wounds of life and to celebrate its victories,” he writes. Every track on the LP showcases this honesty. A heartbreaking tale of loneliness, “Just the Thought of You” demonstrates Williams’ deeper vocals with light guitar strumming.
“I’ve traveled all around the world just to find myself alone/I’ve spent my nights alone/Just talking to myself/Holding onto a dream in my mind/With my heart up on the shelf,” he sings. With a soft almost whisper-like singing style, “Just the Thought of You” and next track, “Invisible Man” bring to mind singer-songwriter Joshua Radin.

While “Just the Thought of You” is a somewhat uplifting tale, “Invisible Man” follows suit with introspection and continuous questioning. A slower ballad that embodies the hope to find content in life, Hayden shows his ability to understand the human psyche and have listeners relate.
“I’m the invisible man/See me while you can/I’m here today but tomorrow I’ll be gone” he sings with desperation in his voice and slow paced musical accompaniment.

The light-hearted “Your Love” switches gears and recalls Jack Johnson with intricate guitar finger picking and soft vocals. With delicate percussion, the feel good song further demonstrates Timeseven’s prowess as musicians. Additionally, the stand-out “Ordinary Man” brings to mind John Mayer with bluesy guitar interludes while “I Still Think of You” tells the dark tale of unfulfilled dreams. “Movin’ On” follows suit and slows down the pace until album closer and title track “This Road.”

No doubt an impressive debut release, it is the slower ballads that drag the album to a close instead of ending strongly. This Road would have made more of an impact if the fast paced tracks and ballads were dispersed evenly throughout the album, and as a result would greatly help the flow.


~ Annie Reuter - Music Reviewer featured on MTV.com and RollingStone.com
 

 

Timeseven This Road Album Review by Music Reviewer Alex Henderson, March 9th 2011

Timeseven’s publicity for their debut album, This Road, opens with a famous quote from the late bebop alto saxophone legend Charlie “Bird” Parker. “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom.  If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn.” William Hayden of Timeseven didn’t use that quote to imply that he is a jazz saxophonist. Rather, Hayden’s point was that everything he wrote and produced for this album is personal to him and that his own experiences are a valuable part of the songwriting process for him. Paired with Mark Williams, who performs the vocals on This Road, Timeseven has made a strong statement with their debut record.

Hayden was a late bloomer when it came to pursuing a recording career. He graduated from college back in 1983, and This Road didn’t come out until December 2010. He has been earning a living in the software/technology field, recently writing songs on the side. This Road points to the fact that he has had plenty of ups and downs in life.

The gentle, folk-rock meets adult alternative pop-rock approach and the softness and subtlety of Williams’ vocals are a perfect fit for Hayden’s introspective songs.
This Road isn’t an album that goes out of its way to push the smile button, but has more than its share of melancholy moments, and Hayden doesn’t hesitate to write about loneliness, heartbreak, despair and romantic disillusionment. Melancholy is definitely on the nose when describing “I Still Think of You,” “Ordinary Man,” “Since You’ve Been Gone,” “Invisible Man,” and “Movin’ On.” But This Road has its optimistic songs as well, including “Just Like You,” “Your Love” and the title track. It would be inaccurate to label wholesale it as a dark, brooding album, but it certainly has its dark, brooding moments.

“Just Like You” is a tuneful offering that would be perfect for AAA (adult album alternative) radio formats. The song illustrates Hayden’s strong sense of pop-rock craftsmanship, as does the equally infectious “Invisible Man,” which boasts a hook that pulls the listener in right away. Timeseven couldn’t go wrong releasing “Invisible Man” as a single. It has a timeless quality, and isn’t hard to imagine the song being played on both the soft rock radio stations of all eras. The same goes for the easy-going, laid-back “Since You’ve Been Gone,” another hooky track that has plenty of AAA appeal but could also win over admirers of classic soft rock. This album could easily appeal to fans of the Goo Goo Dolls and the Gin Blossoms, but there is no reason why someone who appreciates Seals & Crofts shouldn’t be able to get into “Since You’ve Been Gone,” “Ordinary Man” or “Invisible Man.”

On
This Road, emotional depth never comes at the expense of melodic accessibility, of which “I Still Think of You” is a prime example. Hayden puts a lot of thought and feeling into the writing on “Movin’ On,” and once again, Timeseven demonstrates that emotional depth and musical immediacy are by no means incompatible.

This Road is clearly an autobiographical album, and Williams deserves a lot of credit for singing Hayden’s story as convincingly as he does. Williams never sounds like he is merely going through the motions, but always sounds emotionally invested in the songs even though they were inspired by Hayden’s experiences. Of course, the fact that a song is deeply personal to a songwriter doesn’t mean that other people will be unable to relate to it; countless jazz musicians still relate to “Parker’s Mood” even though many of them weren’t even born when Bird first recorded it back in 1948. And when Williams is performing songs that Hayden wrote, he sounds like he really relates to them.

This Road is an album that fans of introspective folk-rock and adult alternative should have no problem getting into.

~ Alex Henderson - Veteran Music Reviewer and Critic whose work has appeared in Billboard, Spin, The L.A. Weekly, JazzTimes, Creem, HITS, Skin Two, CD Review, Players, Pulse!, Music Connection, All About Jazz, Cash Box and a long list of other well known publications.
 

Timeseven Coming Home Album Review by Music Reviewer Heath Andrews

William Hayden describes his songwriting as a therapeutic process. All the love, joy, pain, and heartache that he’s met is poured out onto the page when he writes and composes his music. Under the name Timeseven, he’s recorded two albums, the second of which is 2014’s Coming Home. This seems to be a natural sense of progression considering his album prior was entitled This Road and dealt with a sense of longing and wanderlust. Coming Home meanwhile captures that feeling of acceptance in life and the world at large.

First and foremost it’s important to note that this is largely not an upbeat album. Much of Timeseven’s work is subdued and reflective. Most of the instrumentation consists of soft acoustic guitars, warm keyboards, and soothing vocals. Lyrically the album is deeply full of sentiment and emotion, sometimes overwhelmingly so. One of the interesting parts about the lyricism is that Hayden openly expresses his Christian faith, and though it’s hinted at in the songwriting, it never becomes explicitly Christian or spiritual.

As an example of this, take the song, “Because of You.” Hayden writes of a love that saved him, gave him everything, carried him, and shows him the way. This could easily be a testimonial to God, or even to his wife or parents. Given the backing vocals providing a gospel feel to the song, it does give off a more spiritual vibration, but the fact that it could be either or is a testament to the strong songwriting.

One of the lighter songs that takes advantage of the strong backing vocalists is “Just Like You.” The chiming guitars and jaunty rhythm are accentuated by the low key vocals and the fantastic harmonies from Shelby Allison Lindley. The keyboards provide a beautiful, serene atmosphere for the guitars to play upon, and the restrained guitar solo from Hayden is strong enough to be noteworthy without breaking the song’s tone. Credit too is due to drummer Dale Baker for a performance that manages to incorporate some brisk fills but not at the expense of the calm nature of the music. Williams’ hushed vocals are a trademark of the album.

“Free” is an interesting follow up, starting off with a bass hook and leading into a more guitar driven song than anything else on the record. Hayden gives the song a strong lyrical hook during the chorus but the lead guitar riff is equally infectious and Baker’s percussion work gives the piece some extra oomph. The closing track, “Again” has some similar gusto in points, Lindley’s backing vocals are exquisite, and Hayden throws in some mandolin to give the piece some extra texture. It’s not as driving as “Free” but it’s a suitably mid-tempo number to end on. Most of the remainder of the album consists of slower ballads that while well written and well performed, don’t feel as distinct as the songs around them. The only other song with a different kind of feel is the opener, “Did You Know” which is not quite as peppy as “Just Like You” but still has a degree of bounce to it in addition to some inspired keyboards.

Timeseven has put together a strong emotionally gripping album with
Coming Home. William Hayden is a wonderfully talented songwriter and musician with a particular knack for constructing songs that feel emotionally lived in. It’s not a particularly peppy listen, but if you’re in the mood for an emotional journey, or some strong adult contemporary fare, Coming Home is a wonderful place to go to. The performances are consistently inspired, the music and lyrics are evocative of the human experience, and the atmosphere it all conjures is great for easy listening.

Timeseven Coming Home Album Review by Music Reviewer Alec Cunningham

Timeseven is the pseudonym of musician William Hayden, a man who carries a number of titles under his belt including producer, composer, and songwriter. Coming Home, which contains numerous heartfelt tracks of sincerity, happens to be the second release of his career. This set of 12 songs comes after his debut release in 2010 titled This Road. You can tell by the album titles alone that Hayden is focused on the idea of travel and the destinations that initiate and conclude these excursions. The whole idea of taking a journey in order to better understand yourself – whether it be a physical or mental form of trip – sits at the crux of his work. The title track is perhaps the most obvious of these, and it deals with coming home to a place and people of familiarity.

His songs are subtle, and their delivery is soft. He tells a story and then provides you every so often with a line of thoughtfully written lyrics that show you just how talented and insightful his writing can be. “Dream of You” is one of the tracks where he does this, writing,
“The only thing that never changes is that everything always changes.”

His work has a light, airy sound to it that makes you wonder whether he doesn’t mix some contemporary Christian into some of his songs as well. This question especially comes to mind on songs such as “Did You Know,” where his lyrics can be taken more than one way. He opens the song with, “Did you know that before you even knew me, when you seemed to see right through me, that I loved you so?” The song is written from a perspective that could be taken either as having religious connotations or as being a father talking sincerely to his children.

Whatever his true subject matter may be, however,
Coming Home is undeniably an album of love. He writes of how incredibly amazing and uplifting relationships can be. This happens in “Rainbows,” “Just Like You,” and “Did You Know,” just to name a few. Although he may write of the same subject, not all of these songs are intrinsically the same, however. In “Just Like You” he tells of how he has searched low and high around the world to find the perfect person when she was standing right beside him the entire time, whereas in “Rainbows” he looks back on the good time of a relationship, explaining that even when you give your all to someone the relationship can still sometimes end.

Hayden’s words are honest in this track as well as in the rest, and you can tell he has taken his life experiences to heart and has used them as a source of inspiration in his writing. This album is about a man trying to find his way, and it’s about the love and pain he experiences during that journey. We can all relate to that rollercoaster of insecurities and pleasures life throws our way, and because of that there is an added pleasure we can reap from these tracks.

This is a leisurely album formed around easy-going acoustic guitar melodies and relaxed electric guitar picking. Piano also provides a backdrop for these sounds, making for an entirely soothing, gentle release. Hayden has put his heart on display with
Coming Home, and we are rewarded as listeners by the thought and sentiment he has chosen to reveal.

 
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Bio

William Hayden
Songwriter, Composer, Musician, Producer

"Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom.  If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn." - Charlie Parker
Songwriting has always been a therapeutic process for me, often stirring feelings and memories from my past. Tapping into my own personal experiences and being as honest as I can, I hope my songs will touch a chord and resonate with the listener on a deep level. Thoughts and memories, whether of joy or heartbreak replaying over and again in my head, are now woven into my songs. Songwriting has helped me to heal from the inevitable wounds of life and to celebrate its victories.

"If you see a turtle on a fence post, he probably had help getting there." - Little Jimmy Dickens
My brother was the first to introduce me to music back in the sixties. I can still remember lying on the cold floor in our small living room, waiting with anticipation as I heard the scratch of the needle on the record wondering what song he was about to play. I would find myself daydreaming about being on stage in front of hundreds of fans, or playing on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” During family visits, two of my uncles would bring their guitars and play for us after supper. I was mesmerized as I sat at their feet, watching their thick calloused fingers dancing on their guitars. Little did I know that when they taught me my first chords and songs, it would begin an insatiable appetite for music and playing the guitar that has continued to grow.

"Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon
Like every teenager in a garage band, I thought it would be easy to make a living playing gigs on the weekends to make music my lifelong job. Eventually, music took a backseat while I was learning the job of life. I realize now that I had to experience life first before I could genuinely write about it.

"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." - Maya Angelou
During my time in college, I searched for purpose and meaning in life and found a Christian faith that has grown and carried me through many wonderful and difficult times since then. I also got married and went through a divorce during that time. Through it all, my faith and my guitar were always with me. When I graduated college in 1983, I packed the back seat of my old Chevrolet with everything I owned. With three hundred dollars in my pocket and no job prospects, I drove to sunny Florida to begin a new chapter of my life. After working as a cook in a pizza parlor at night, I landed a job as a software engineer for a small startup company. Although I’ve always loved what I do as my “day job”, my passion continued to be music. I soon met my second wife, and we began to raise three children together. Just a few years after we were married, my wife became very ill and was in and out of the hospital with life-threatening illnesses for the next nine years. In 1999, she died unexpectedly. I suddenly became a single parent, juggling a demanding full-time job while trying to keep things as stable as possible at home.

"He not busy being born is busy dying" - Bob Dylan
Eventually, we were blessed with my wife, Christa, who is my best friend and a loving step-mother to my children. Reflecting upon the past thirty years filled with bittersweet memories of joy, heartache, failures and triumphs, I know now that it was these experiences that seeded the music that I’m writing today. Relatively late in life, I’ve discovered how to express my love for music. Songwriting has become a cathartic and healing experience for me, and in some ways, has given me closure with some of the experiences of my past.

My debut album,
This Road is a story about the road that I’ve traveled, potholes and all. It has been one of the thrills of my life writing, recording and producing my second album Coming Home. I had the opportunity to work with world-class musicians and studio engineers on this project. Mark Williams’ impassioned vocals gave my songs a voice, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to work with him on this album. Platinum record, Grammy nominated and multiple award-winning drummer, Dale Baker played drums on the album. Dale’s musicianship, sensibilities and emotional connection with my songs brought a new dimension to each song. Renowned Nashville producer and studio engineer, Russ Long, performed the final mixes and breathed new life into my songs with his inspired mixes. Nashville legend and Grammy-winning engineer, Hank Williams from Mastermix studios, completed the final mastering for the album. My first album, This Road is an autobiographical album about my life’s journey taking me far from home, searching for meaning and purpose in life. My new album, Coming Home is an album about coming full circle in the journey while rediscovering the way back home. As Meister Eckhart said, “God is at home, it’s we who have gone out for a walk.”

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This Is Our Life

by Timeseven (Featuring Christa Wells)

Credits:
Lyrics - N. C. Hunter Hayden and William Hayden
Music Composition and Production - William Hayden  (c) (p) 2014 (BMI)

Lead Vocals and Piano - Christa Wells Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Award-winner.

Cello - Matt Slocum Platinum and Gold record winner, and Grammy nominated songwriter and musician.

Percussion - Dale Baker Platinum and Gold selling, Grammy nominated and Dove Award winning drummer.

Studio Engineer for Cello and Final Mix - Russ Long Renowned Nashville producer and studio engineer.

Studio Engineer for Vocal and Piano William Hayden - Songwriter, Composer, Musician, Producer.

Mastering - Hank Williams Multi-Grammy award winning studio engineer.