Beneath These Borrowed Skies is the first solo album for Blind Melon frontman Travis T. Warren. The album released on September 25, 2012 under Clarity Way Records, the new label for Clarity Way, a Pennsylvania drug and alcohol rehab facility. Clarity Way Records aims to support musicians in recovery. All proceeds from the album go to MusiCares, a Grammy-sponsored charity offering musicians help if they are in financial, personal or medical need.
Warren’s own difficult past and his renewed outlook on life inspired the album’s lyrics. Musically he tried to represent several of his influences, combining sounds of rock, electronica and folk.
At first “auditory” glance, Beneath These Borrowed Skies is summarized by two characteristics: several acoustic guitar intros and a raspy voice sometimes holding the notes a bit too long, making you want to scream “just let loose, man.”
But don’t give up on this album quite yet. You wonder if he recorded the tracks Horizons, Sweet Memories and The Crossing later in the session as you can hear his voice finally relaxes. Horizons‘ vocals, backing drums and guitar sounds flow smoothly, ebbing and flowing into exciting climaxes. Sweet Memories appears to have a bluesy influence, particularly apparent in the female guest vocals. The Crossing starts out slow and peaceful, easing into a higher tempo, but remaining consistently tranquil. Golden Lives is another fun track, with a sometimes trippy, Led Zeppelin-esque sound.
Album purists – those who like to listen to an album beginning to end – may be disappointed by the disjointed sound variance among each track. But Warren’s music might hit a few notes with the iTunes generation, who only download one hitters anyways. Warren’s solo artist efforts will be interesting to watch as he chooses whether to stick with personifying a variety of genres or refines his sound to fit neatly into one music style.