Having released a couple of limited edition EPs in 2011 which went on to sell out, Tom The Lion has spent the subsequent time crafting this full-length debut. Sole credits for the writing, performance and production go to the artist himself, indicating a man who takes full control of his craft.
Within the opening minute of the opening title track, it is apparent that Tom The Lion is an intricate musician who thoughtfully arranges his sounds. 'Sleep' wistfully provides a background to a soothing crooned vocal performance, whilst 'Motorcade' signals an injection of urgency to the tranquil predecessor. The alluring start gives way to the plodding 'Oil Man', which has a saving grace of being over within a couple of minutes and is soon rendered irrelevant by the beauty of 'Every Single Moment', where the atmosphere of the first track is recaptured. The soundscape is broadened with the bass-driven 'Winter's Wool', but it fails to impress, as does the sparse 'Ragdoll' which may as well be a cappella in its presentation. The care-free 'Heal' is a nice touch; easy-going with lightly tinkled ivories, but it is ultimately one of few interesting moments on a dull canvas. Frustratingly, Tom The Lion can produce encapsulating songs, but consistency is sadly lacking across the length of this release.
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'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.