An album that relates her life experiences through poignant words and music, as trailed by the title.
Collins’ press tells us that “’Things I Tell My Therapist’ is a debut album ten years in the making, and Collins’ first release that she feels was truly a collaboration between her and her producer”. That producer was Dylan Welsh who was also the main electric guitarist here. The first song to grab the attention is ‘The Journey’ which features 2022’s instrument of choice the electric piano and leads into a solo, presumably from Welsh, flows across the second half of the song. ‘Somebody’ which follows next is a lap steel guitar driven country ballad, that is one of those songs that feels immediately familiar without being cliched. As the album’s punt for radio airplay it has all the epic qualities that it needs to make that a reality.
Many of the lyrics examine the pain of familial ties, but only on the title song do the lyrics overwhelm the music. ‘Things I Tell My Therapist’ does sound like a session on the couch. The seemingly obligatory Tom petty style song, ‘Lighthouse’ is next up and a far more celebratory set of words, with an 80s style flanged guitar to take the instrumental load. With a voice that has touches of Lucinda Williams and Shelby Lynne and a lived in feel Collins delivers the songs with a passion that is supported well by Welsh’s production in most cases. The best of the ballads is ‘The Belvedere Hotel’ where a grinding drone, that may be the Theremin credited to Evan Roberson, and gunshot snare drum dominate. Closing song ‘Adria’ is a more up-tempo song that draws on her experience as a Social Worker.
‘Adria’ must be the up-tempo “ditty” her press refers to, and the album could do with a few more of those. The “soul stirring ballads” do dominate rather, and Collins is more than capable of bringing us something more upbeat. The lyrical content of many of these songs maybe didn’t lend themselves to that. It will be good to hear what she produces next with the catharsis of these songs behind her.