Review Summary: Regardless of whether it's certified as indie, pop, R&B or folk, 'Blood Money' is irrefutably good and ineffably promising.
Luke Pickett is just another reason why I love the UK. Being in a multi-cultural environment, I've done my fair share of British-accent admiration and have had an equal (perhaps excessive) dosage of Union Jacks decorating various paraphernalia. However, having never actually been far enough east to get a visual taste of that-which-is-across-ye-atlantic-sea, the only part of the UK that has legitimately bled into my cultural radar is the music. Whether or not this confirms claims of my lunacy and close-mindedness is wholly debatable but the fact that the country in question is a hotbed for musical brilliancy is inarguable - surely everybody knows that. Luke Pickett is something of an expansion to the British arsenal of talent. With roots entwined in his Minus the Bear meets old-Saosin post-hardcore band 'Her Words Kill', Pickett possess one of modern music's most impressive, comforting and broken sounding voices I've heard in recent time - especially when paired with his uncanny knack to create a hook and his accessible pop-sensibility.
Containing both the haunting atmosphere of Anchor and Braille's 'Felt' and the catchiness of just about any well-crafted pop song you could ever discover on your local radio, 'Blood Money' is a satisfying-but-not-quite-enough EP that precedes his imminent full-length (which may be stuck in production hell for the next decade or so). Opening with the invasively catchy but moody title track, Pickett immediately introduces his now-developed sound: high, convicted tenor vocals wrapped up in illustrious jazzy harmonies and subtle, yet effective instrumentation. Pickett's pop-tendencies are most evident on 'Cruel Love' which recalls a loopy synth that encircles his meandering acoustic guitar and (dare I say it) Timberlake-y falsetto hook: "And I need a miracle to save me from your cruel love
" (while not a terrific lyricist, he amply gets the job done). Closing two songs 'Lay Down Your Cards (Guilty As Charged)' and 'Going Down With Ship' showcase two completely juxtaposed facets of Pickett; the former, a gratuitously R&B-tanged indulgence in memorability and programmed drum beats and the latter, a recall to his debut 'For Every Petal Lost, Another Gained' EP with it's beautifully distressed vocals and encompassing atmosphere.
If any fault were to wrongfully plague 'Blood Money', it would be the underwhelming amount of material offered - four songs on a 20077 EP is wholly insufficient when it's 2009 and you still haven't released a full length album yet (he is supposedly
still an active musician). However, as a whole, 'Blood Money's genre-ambiguouty and Pickett's exquisite songwriting make the EP a positive outing and an incredibly promising glimpse into great, great