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In Review Tom Odells Long Way Down

18th July 2013 | Posted in Music

Every now and then, an album hits the shelves that has been so hyped up, you almost fear for the poor soul who's singing on it- let's face it, the likely hood of it actually being what everyone expects are one in a million. Sadly, in the case of Tom Odell, he is no exception to the rule. Don't get us wrong, his debut album, 'Long Way Down' does have a few high points, but ultimately, this first effort from the Brit Awards Critic's choice winner is destined for your mum's cars' CD player.

Let's start with what's right about the long haired Sussex kid's first shot at the big time. Primarily, it centers entirely around a piano. So that's nice, and incredibly unoffensive. If you're after something to basically put on in the background and vegetate too, then this is pretty much ideal. It's never going to get you thinking and it's never going to shock you- so feel free to pop it in the CD player if you've got your Gran over for Sunday lunch and want to fill the awkward silence.

It's intensely commercial and radio ready. There's not a track on there that wouldn't work on a lunch time Radio 1 show, so well done Mr Odell on creating a shiny plastic clad cash cow. 'Another Love' is a prime example of just that, with it getting an insane amount of air time. To be fair, it's one of the best tracks on the album and perfectly displays Odell's mastery of catchy piano fueled tunes, lyrics that will somehow apply to everyone, and a decent blend of excitable voice raising and husky sad lows.

So, brilliantly unoffensive, annoyingly catchy in places, and perfect for a Sunday (or your mum's car), what's not to like about this little ensemble? Well, it 's short, for one. Very short in fact. At just over half an hour (literally, 35 minutes), it's not exactly going to leave you feeling like you got a seriously good deal for your money.

Also, it seems to announce that Mr Odell currently has the emotional range of a love sick cat. If he's not singing about falling in love, then he's singing about falling out of love, being dumped, dumping someone, thinking of dumping someone, or basically being depressed about some woman, somewhere, at some point. Don't then, expect an eclectic mash up of moody lyrics, because you will be sorely disappointed when you here him moaning about his womanly woes with track titles like 'Can't Pretend', 'Until I Lost' and 'Hold Me'. I mean, REALLY?! Say's it all, doesn't it.

Far from refreshing then, Odell seems to be the awkwardly emotionally confused 20 something artist whose lyrics got force fed mundane lyrics and mediocre meanings by the big bad music industry.

Don't get us wrong, this isn't a bad album. We're not advocating that you should avoid it like the plague, just suggesting that you should ignore the fact he's been nominated for this and that, because ultimately, it means squat. Sadly, 'Long Way Down' hasn't lived up to its promise, and most definitely has a time and place. If emotional warbling and piano key tickling sounds like your kind of gig, then get yourself on iTunes and give Mr Odell your hard earned cash.

One thing from this album is very clear though- Mr Odell seriously needs to get himself a good woman before he attempts another album, but in the mean time, enjoy this little video and get a taste of what all the fuss is about.

Ryan J Gray

 

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