"That Was Then, This Is Now" (Favored Nations; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Andy Timmons, mostly known for being a part of Danger Danger, has quietly recorded a lot of material over the years. "That Was Then, This Is Now" brings together some of that older material along with a few new tunes.

I must state this right at the start: even though I grew up in the '80s listening to the likes of Dokken, Ratt, and Scorpions, I never did much get into the 'copycats' that followed such as Danger Danger and Steelheart. So, aside from a few vague memories of hearing/seeing Danger Danger on MTV back in the day, I am practically listening to Andy Timmons as though I'd never heard him before.

While approaching my first listen to "That Was Then, This Is Now" I was instantly comforted by the recollection that somehow Andy Timmons did have a good reputation as a decent guitarist despite the pop-metal leanings of Danger Danger. I was also pleased by the fact that 15 of the 16 tracks on the CD were instrumentals. It doesn't take much to get me amped up about hearing instrumentals.

The sixteen tracks contained on "That Was Then, This Is Now" cover a lot of ground. Various styles are explored without getting too weird or out of the ordinary. Fifteen of the tracks are originals with one cover being the track "Donna Lee" which was written by the jazz/bebop founder and guitarist extraordinaire Charlie Parker.

Four of the five new tracks open up the CD. "Pink Champagne Sparkle" has the vibe of Joe Satriani mixed with "Out Of Nowhere"-era Vinnie Moore. Another new rocker worth mentioning is "Beautiful, Strange" which has inventive passages that make me look forward to listening to instrumental music. The bluesy "Falling Down" evolves into an emotional, melodic workout with creative flights of six-string frenzy.

Ten of the eleven older tracks round out the middle and end of the CD. The older tracks tend to be a little bit funkier, straight-ahead rockers, and more ballad-like than the newer tunes. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the newer songs did more for me as a music fan than the older tracks. "I Remember Stevie" evokes the feeling of being in a smoky bar listening to the blues. "Cry For You" is a seven-minute ballad that never gets boring.

The CD closes with the heartfelt "Slips Away" dedicated to the recently departed Beatle George Harrison.

"That Was Then, This Is Now" is a must for all guitar fanatics and those who enjoy instrumentals. There's a lot of musical 'meat' on "That Was Then, This Is Now."

Andy Timmons plays all guitars and is joined by Mike Danne on bass, and Mitch Marine on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Dec 2022 12:48:49 -0500.