The first full length release by Timmy Rodriguez AKA Sleeping Timmy, entitled “What World?” has a lot going for it and a lot of mishaps too. The musicianship here is outstanding. Rodriguez plays every instrument (minus programmed drums), including acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, bass guitar and even mandolin. Incorporating this many elements himself and making them all work in the songs, and not be overwhelming, is a good sign.

How he used said instruments, although they work in the songs, feels a little stale about half way through the album. An acoustic guitar in nearly every song takes away from the originality of the songs themselves when nearly every song has one. Electric guitar parts here and there spice it up a bit but they also feel limp and weak. No real punch to them. Even the programmed drum patterns feel repetitive and boring after a while. A little diversity in the arrangements would be nice.

Lyrically, this album is a concept album. According to this Q and A with Rodriguez, “This whole album is from the male characters perspective. He is faced with constant obstacles (Her moving away from Philadelphia, the both of them moving in different directions emotionally, him thinking he has feelings for someone else, their first experience with intimacy). It’s pretty much anything you would see on TGIF from 1993-2000.” Rodriguez has a template for his concept, sure. But I don’t think Boy Meets World: The Album makes for very good lyrics. From the song Self in Doubt, “Self in doubt, I was wrong to think of you that way. Self in doubt, now I’m lost in my hallways”.

Apart from his lyrics, his singing is good at times, not great in other areas. I like the use of harmony vocals throughout the album, like on the first song “Sandbox”. Shows the influence of the Beatles on his music. But even some of the harmonies a little scratchy. At points where harmonies are absent, it feels a little dry. There is not one harmony that I got stuck in my head.

Overall, this album is a shaky start for Sleeping Timmy. I like the fact that Rodriguez is branching out into solo material and self-producing his own material. That shows he is staying active musically and experimenting. That’s what this album is, I think. An experiment. Something he wanted to do and put out there. I’m sure whatever he puts out next under the Sleeping Timmy name will be better.