Before I knew anything about Timothy Ray or the story behind ‘Take It In,’ I listened. In my notes, the words “love,” “romantic,” “wedding” appeared more often than not. Come to find out this March 2021 release started as a gift idea for Timothy’s wife for their 10th wedding anniversary. I would say, he nailed it smack dab on the head because if there is one thing listeners will take away from this record, it’s those butterfly, fairy tale feelings one gets when thinking about being in love.
11 tracks deep, ‘Take It In’ is a pop music lover’s dream come true, especially those who have an appreciation for high-grade boy bands like Backstreet Boys and Jonas Brothers. However, while it takes those groups three to five voices to get the point across, Timothy Ray does it all on his own and does it immensely well. The title track presents a well-rounded pop feel, while Joe Jonas fans will love “Be With You,” and Backstreet Boys fans will appreciate “First Kiss High.” The same can be said about “I Do (Every Day Forever).”
As soon as “I Do (Every Day Forever)” started, my head naturally went towards the wedding chapel. There are a handful of songs couples waltz out for their first dance, and while they’re all amazing in their own right, it can leave guests a little bored when couples pull out the expected. So couples looking for a new, classic wedding track – it’s right here. It’s not alone though because “Old Love” is just as great for a day filled with family, friends, and love.
With this album being something Timothy Ray had in mind as a gift to his wife of 10 years, all of the above is no surprise. Romance was always going to be the underlying theme of ‘Take It In,’ and can be found throughout from the more pop-heavy tracks and ballads to the more heartfelt deliveries like “Dancing in the Kitchen.” However, there are moments on this record that while romantic at their core, are simply fun – even for those not in a relationship.
Songs like “I’d Do It All Again” has major summer hit vibes, and while musically it doesn’t align with the likes of pop-punk acts like All Time Low and Boys Like Girls, lyrically – it was comparable to their tracks that lean more into the pop side of their genre. You could hear this track everywhere from playing every few songs on the radio to anchoring a teen movie about one’s first love during summer vacation. Summer weather vibes were also present in the upbeat delight, “That’s All We Ever Need.” We’ve talked a lot about boy bands, but here Timothy Ray brings about something fans of indie-pop darling, Jason Mraz, would want on their playlists.
Listening to this album reminds me of Hellogoodbye’s discography as most were inspired by lead singer, Forrest Kline, and the love he’s always showcased for his wife – even before they were married. It’s easy to fall in love with a love song, but when you know that they come from such a genuine place – it makes you fall even harder, and that’s what happens when taking in ‘Take It In.’
It would have been easy for Timothy Ray could have easily gone the common route of heading to the jewelry store and picking out something to place in a velvet box for his 10th anniversary. Instead, he set out to gift his wife a record that is not only personal but timeless when it comes to love. It is a record that not only celebrates their relationship and the life they’ve built but a record that many can relate to and add as part of the soundtrack that makes up their own unique love stories. All I have to say is that I cannot wait to hear what Timothy Ray writes for their 20th.
Written by Kendra Beltran