“* * * * *. Tiers/And Other Stories is a two-disc masterpiece from one of our favorite pop savants. Almost every listener will find something to identify with in what amounts to a universal story of love found, lost, and found again. With its confessional libretto and enchanting musical settings, Tiers is a kind of latter-day Pet Sounds, complemented by some Brill Building voice and piano. And at the core of it all, you’ll find honesty, artistry, and a deep recognition of love’s formidable power. A number of songs are given lithe orchestrations (redolent of Copland, Gershwin and Bernstein)…adding even more colors to Heyman’s painterly palette. It is, in short, a baroque-pop affair that’s both sweeping in scope and sweetly understated. Quite simply, Tiers/And Other Stories is an embarrassment of riches…just come prepared to get happily lost in a world of song for a long, long time.”
Sound + Vision
I've been a fan of this DIY recording artist for decades now, but even I am blown away by Heyman's consistent musical excellence, not to mention the musical ambition of this melodic double dose of his latest work. At a time when it takes balls to put out a single album, he puts out two at the same time - one of those album, Tiers, is autobiographical and documents the start of his ongoing love story with wife and collaborator Nancy Leigh. The other album is about the same love story that's marked Heyman's entire career -- the love of great pop music that can still rock your world.””
David Wild (Rolling Stone editor/Huffington Post contributor)
“* * * *. The cult-adored Heyman ditched power pop convention for curves and beauty. Sexy, often sad arrangements that’d raise Jack Nitzsche’s eyebrow.”
“Classic pop influences abound, among them string-laden, baroque chamber-pop, jangly-guitar power-pop, lush, languid paeans to the dreamscapes of Jimmy Webb, art songs, country-rock, piano-driven ballads, Steely Dan-esque jazz-pop and more. This two-disc masterpiece is one of the year's most ambitious and satisfying efforts.”
Iowa City Press-Citizen
“A masterpiece, a true jewel. One of the most important records of the last 30 years. I hope it will bring Richard the recognition he deserves. There are no other artists like him.”
Patrick Mathé, Last Call Records
Heyman has released his masterpiece, with an orchestral-pop direction that makes the most of his multifarious musical skills. Led frequently by piano, Heyman’s melodies move with uncommon elegance and grace, atop gorgeous, artful arrangements…Heyman has created something truly timeless.”
You can feel the love in the music. The 31 songs (including hidden track) were recorded with great sensitivity and care. The influences range from Left Banke, The Zombies, Colin Blunstone, Randy Newman, Neal Morse, The Beach Boys to Bob Dylan and musicals. Tiers/And Other Stories is not only the story of a love, but also a pop music masterpiece.”
Robert Pally, www.swissrecords.com
There is never any doubt that Heyman is still a master of power pop. All of these songs, whether it is There’s A Train or Fire In The Country, or Wild Souls, work well on their own, and as parts of a creatively successful concept album, but Branded In The Sky, Horizon and Game Stays The Same (just to give a few examples) are great songs even if one listens to them without thinking about the overall concept. Thankfully, Heyman’s ambition doesn’t make him any less hooky or any less infectious on the excellent Tiers/And Other Stories.
Tiers is like a brilliant conceptual collaboration between Brian Wilson, Jon Brion and Randy Newman, littered with harmonic gems. And Other Stories, while less overtly conceptual than its companion disc, is an equally impressive set of reflective pop songs. Heyman progresses well beyond the jangling guitar pop that defined his early work, embracing a more ornate baroque atmosphere, although longtime fans will be heartened that he hasn’t completely abandoned his pop/rock roots — Branded in the Sky and Only For You shimmer with the best of his Beatlesque output. Lyrically and musically, Tiers/And Other Stories is classic Heyman — serious and playful, heartbreaking and hilarious, single-minded and expansive. It is also amazingly accomplished; Heyman plays everything other than the album’s string and horn parts. An intensely personal and literally conveyed story that doubles as a rock opera of sorts, it is Heyman’s astonishing magnum opus and quite possibly one of the year’s best albums.
A pop gem, an intricate, elaborately constructed song cycle – this is a gorgeous Brian Wilson-fan worthy production brimming with beautiful melodies, lush orchestration and bittersweet vocal harmonies. Heyman performed most of the album himself on a wide array of instruments – guitar, bass, drums, keyboards – that would make Prince or Stevie Wonder take notice.
This amazing new release is actually two complete albums, and features original diverse material from Richard X. Heyman. Rather than a double album, Tiers/And Other Stories is two albums packaged together. These two CDs are like a whole universe of music - crossing over musical genres and types with ease and a gleeful disregard for conventions…gorgeous and real…One incredibly likeable aspect of Richard's music is his unabashed, unbridled and unhidden emotions. Richard X. Heyman doesn't hesitate or compromise. Whatever choices he makes, he goes at with full force. He doesn't hold back.
An ambitious concept piece chronicling Heyman’s life, dabbling in baroque pop, breezy country and harmony-rich Brian Wilson-style balladry.
M Music & Musicians Magazine
Heyman delivers his most ambitious project yet…beautifully articulated, a definitive compendium to the romantic genius of one of rock music’s most unsung heroes, and a perfect launch pad for anyone looking to venture into the brilliance of this Plainfield, NJ boy’s artistry as one of the primary purveyors of American power pop.
Listening to these discs is equivalent to reading Richard’s personal diary, as he shares his views and insights on romance, the baby boom generation, the record business and his love of both human and furry friends. Richard plays everything from the guitar to the harpsichord to the drums to the piano to tubular bells to the marimba to a tambourine. Lushly orchestrated arrangements sit tight and comfortably with rock rhythms, leading to a sensational sprawl of intriguing shapes and sounds. Although Tiers/And Other Stories pays noticeable tribute to the past masterstrokes of artists such as the Beach Boys, the Left Banke and the Merry Go Round, a contemporary complexion and approach propels the songs. Richard’s radio ready voice is as honest and convincing as ever, and the hooks and melodies are delivered in triple doses. Challenging and unique, the pop rock symphonics of Tiers/And Other Stories is a breath of fresh air at an hour when so much music seems to be bland and uninspired. Richard X, Heyman is a real treasure, and this album consistently confirms his brilliance and integrity.
Beverly Paterson, Twist & Shake
Timeless melodies…an embarrassment of riches…RXH remains a vital and interesting creative musical force.
Veteran power pop legend Richard X. Heyman heads in a new direction on the massive 31 song pop opera Tiers/And Other Stories…filled with soulful optimism…each disc has its share of great tracks, experiments and impressions…wade in deep.
After decades in the music business, Richard X. Heyman is apparently having no problems in the creativity department…Heyman seems to be insanely busy these days with this sprawling, hugely-ambitious double CD…he manages to pull it off thanks to his enduring songwriting and musical strengths.
Some of the finest power-pop music you will find on the market today. He is an ultimate studio warrior as he plays almost all the instruments himself plus writes his own material…Richard X. Heyman’s new album has his usual hooks, melodies and sophisticated lyrics. Hopefully more people will share his latest journey.
Vibrant melodies, ever-ready refrains, sumptuous hooks and the kind of songs radio once craved.
Richard X. Heyman is a veteran singer/songwriter that pretty much does everything himself, making many a musician envious that so much diverse talent can be bundled into just one man. Heyman’s vocal styling is a perfect fit for his intelligent pop rock for adults…beautiful and reflective.
Bill’s Music Forum
Richard X. Heyman has returned in a big way – Heyman still retains a fine sense of pop craftsmanship…marvelously melodic tunes.
His melodic method is as sharp as ever…winsome sparkle.
The Big Takeover
Don’t pass up the opportunity to hear all these wonderful stories and great music.
JP’s Music Blog
“New & Noteworthy
Heyman has deepened his craft over the years, but he’s done so without sacrificing the basic joys of music making. Heyman’s an excellent storyteller and his feel for the longer form translates nicely into a pop opera whose songs form chapters in a larger arc. There are touches of country, baroque-pop, and even some Rockin’ Berries-styled harmonies…the quality of Heyman’s work never wears out its welcome.
Heyman once again shows himself as a top-notch songsmith in full-fledge. The fact that Heyman has released two gems simultaneously seems well worthy of your consumer dollar.
DIY multi-instrumentalist releases double-album full of classic styles.
Epic orchestral-pop ballads, with a touch of genius flickering in between the lines.
A compelling, keyboard-driven rock opera…through artfully crafted songs full of unexpected harmonic changes and structural twists, Richard tells the story of first meeting his wife Nancy…Listen to the bittersweet Last Thought in My Mind and you’ll hear Richard’s left hand making smooth magic up and down the piano’s lower register.