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Tom the Lion

Tom the Lion – Sleep (February 3, 2014)

                Tom the Lion — Sleep 
Γ•   Enigmatic Londoner crafts cinematic, soulful, and quietly majestic D.I.Y. indie pop.
Γ•   Nikdy nekončící oceán písničkářů na úrovni Tom Odell / Ed Sheeran pokračuje dál. Γ•   Je tu několik opravdu krásných chvil jako je třpytivě–experimenální Oil Man s pulzujícím synth pop November’s Beach. Nejlepší ze všeho však je epos Silent Partner.
Γ•   Podobnosti: Bon Iver a Fleet Foxes. Zvukově taky. A vytváří několik slušných momentů, někdy spíše “rozlévá fazole”, než by nastavil dramatičtější scénu. Od druhé písně se věci zlepší, ale je to trochu sentimentální, nemastné–neslané, příliš snadné, intuitivně odhadnutelné, neudrží vás ve špetce napětí, což je pro mne nezbytné koření na jakémkoli albu. Hůl na něj bych nepoužil, mám pro to tento důvod: disponuje hravým hlasem se ‘zlomeným srdcem’, je takový dětský, má jakoby ‘své vlastní razítko’. Γ•   Je živoucím důkazem transformující síly hudby. Jestli má připravený ventilátor do dalšího období, ukáže čas. Celkový dojem je jako pírko nad letištěm Orly.  
Γ•   Come to Life.
Location: Lemington Spa, London, UK
Album release: February 3, 2014
Record Label: Hoopmusic/Wrasse Records
Duration: 45:50 + 15:49 => 61:39
CD 1
01 Sleep     4:24
02 Motorcade     4:20
03 Silent Partner     3:57
04 Oil Man     2:10
05 Beholden     3:33
06 November’s Beach     3:46
07 Every Single Moment     3:18
08 Winter’s Wool     4:11
09 Our Beloved Past     4:22
10 Ragdoll     3:33
11 Heal     4:04
12 Come to Life     4:14
CD 2
13 Motorcade 3:38
14 Golden 4:05
15 Sleep 4:27
15 Beholden 3:39
Γ•   All tracks written by Tom Visser.
Companies etc.:
Γ•   Licensed To — Decca Records
Γ•   Phonographic Copyright (p) — Hoopmusic Ltd
Γ•   ©Hoopmusic Ltd
Γ•   Published by — Cooking Vinyl Publishing
Γ•   Mastered at — Metropolis Studios
Γ•   Recorded at — Voltaire Road Recording Studios
Γ•   Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet — Nick Carter* (tracks: CD2)
Γ•   Co–producer, Engineer, Mixed By — Cam Blackwood
Γ•   Design — Konstantinos Gargaletsos
Γ•   Mastered By — Mazen Murad
Γ•   Photography By — Richie Hopson
Γ•   Tenor Saxophone — Tom Stone (tracks: CD2)
Γ•   Trombone — Mat Walton (tracks: CD2)
Γ•   Trumpet — Jack Birchwood (tracks: CD2)
Γ•   Written–By, Performer, Producer — Tom The Lion
Γ•   Rough trade exclusive with bonus CD featuring performances recorded live at Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire, England.
Γ•   Limited edition envelope packaging with lyric sheets and Art Print.
Γ•   Three different catalogue numbers present on the release. One on the packaging, plus one on each of the CDs.
℗&© 2014 Hoopmusic Ltd under exclusive license to Decca (A division of Universal Music Operations Limited)
Γ•   Recorded at Voltaire Road Recording Studios, London
Γ•   Mastered at Metropolis Studios, London
Review by James Christopher Monger; Score: ***
Γ•   Sleep, the debut album from shadowy Londoner Tom the Lion, offers up 12 intricate slabs of meticulously arranged D.I.Y. indie pop that flirt with the mainstream from the relative safety of the shore.
Γ•   There’s a real Gotye–esque, retro–‘80s vibe to much of the material here that gives the album a bit of a commercial sheen, but Tom the Lion, who plays every instrument, seems torn between sophisti–pop craftsman and spectral singer/songwriter, resulting in a set of songs with plenty of moving parts that always seem to come up short of reaching a sum. TTL’s soulful croon, which falls somewhere between Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, Beirut’s Zach Condon, and James Blunt, fits right in with the current crop of moody English pop purveyors like Tom Odell, Alt–J, Eugene McGuinness, and Wild Beasts, and he possesses enough pop acumen to deliver some real swoon–worthy moments.
Γ•   The sweeping title cut swings effortlessly between its staccato, fog–bound verse and opulent chorus, the bluesy and soulful “Beholden” impresses with its deft juggling of light and dark textures, and the curious “Ragdoll,” with its sparse arrangement and evocative lyrics, reveals what could be construed as a closeted librettist peeking his head out from behind the fussy confines of radio–pop architecture. That said, Sleep, for the most part, reveals an artist who seems capable of crafting a gem, but at this point there’s too much polish on the stones, and too few hooks on the line to warrant anything other than a cursory nod and polite applause.
Artist Biography by James Christopher Monger
Γ•   Enigmatic, London–based singer/songwriter/multi–instrumentalist Tom the Lion crafts cinematic, soulful, and quietly majestic D.I.Y. indie pop in the vein of artists like Villagers, Sufjan Stevens, and Beirut with a rich falsetto that has drawn comparisons to Thom Yorke, Chris Martin, and Jeff Buckley. He released his debut album (in actuality a pair of EPs), The Adventures of Tom the Lion, in tailor–made wooden cigar boxes in 2011 via Hoop Records, followed in 2014 by his major-label debut, Sleep, both of which credit TTL as the sole performer.
By Jim, August 27, 2014 · Score: 7.2/10
Γ•   Influenced in part by his Fathers jazz records, and his Mothers Rickie Lee Jones and Bob Dylan albums, London via Leamington Spa singer–songwriter Tom The Lion comes down somewhere in the middle, his songs retaining the usual format, but punctuated often subtely by moments (rather than minutes) of the experimental, the confusing, the contrary and the improvised. If there were one criticism of Sleep, Tom the Lions debut album, it would be that he’s gone easy on us — shackled somewhat, maybe by the songs, by the production or even by his own expectation, it’d be interesting to see what transpired if he really let himself get carried away.
Γ•   That’s not to say Sleep doesn’t have its moments. In fact, amongst the never ending ocean of singer–songwriters in the Tom Odell / Ed Sheeran mode, it surfaces towards the top, avoiding the endless pre–teen breakup / pet death sobalongs for the most part, and his slightly whimsical delivery and stuttering rhythmic arrangements mean when he does, there’s something different in there than the usual slop.
Γ•   Take the title track. There’s a certain sparkle to the arrangement, these intertwining, often complex lines teisting in and out of eachother, as Tom’s vocal soars over the top — yet its the chorus where there’s these waves of warm emotion that cover you.
Γ•   Elsewhere on the record, there’s some genuinely lovely moments such as the shimmering almost experimentla Oil Man and the pulsating synth pop of November’s Beach. Best of all though is the epic, shuffling Silent Partner.
Γ•   There’s lots to like about Sleep, and he gets it most right when he blends the epic Elbow like arrangements with these shuffling hints towards the experimental. He’s certainly a songwriter to keep an eye on, at once thoughtful, while the next eye moistening. its with some interest we await the next chapter…. :: http://backseatmafia.com/
Website: http://www.tomthelion.com/

Tom the Lion



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