Tom Odell
Long Way Down


2.0
poor

Review

by Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (52 Reviews)
February 16th, 2014 | 13 replies | 1,110 views


Release Date: 06/24/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Potential, typically scorned.

So just what can you expect from singer songwriter Tom Odell on his debut album? If you’ve listened to the Brit awards then you’ll be expecting fireworks, but if you've taken any notice of the capricious NME then you’ll be avoiding him like the pestilence. After any artist enjoys excessive hype, the inevitable media counter-attack follows to restore parity and reset our expectation equilibrium. In reality, any artist who finds themselves in this position usually lands comfortably in the middle of these two extremes – and in this regard Tom Odell is no different.

The backlash Odell received however was more brutal than most – receiving a less than paltry 0/10 from the aforementioned music magazine. There is however, at least some substance to the detractor’s arguments. Pop music is rarely lauded for its lyrical depth, but even when it is predictably shallow, then sincerity is sometimes nearby to fill the gap instead. Cringe worthy lines such as “Make me hot, make me come” on album opener “Grow Old With Me” and “All my tears have been used up on another love” on “Another Love” highlight Odell’s juvenescence, and they fail to compliment the often stellar piano work hiding underneath. Odell’s lyrics reek of cliché and shock factor – and it’s a negative stereotype that the young Brit has unwisely, and probably unwittingly, encouraged.

The highlights on Long Way Down occur when Odell flaunts his expertise as a pianist. It’s impossible to deny the 22 year old one thing, he can craft a solid hook by tinkling those ivories, and his potential to grow is evident. Although repetitive, “I Know” undeniably strikes a catchy chord, in part because it refuses to be vulgar, but more so because it is simply content to bounce merrily from start to finish. The brilliant “Can’t Pretend” embraces the major as well as the minor, expertly switching dynamics as the chorus fades into the verse and back again, and what’s more, it’s also one of the rare occasions when Odell’s voice genuinely connects with the listener – bridging the gap that exists on many of the other songs here.

It’s safe to say that at this point in Odell’s career the hype was premature, but the doom mongering and quite frankly volatile critique by NME can equally be ignored. There’s undeniably talent lurking beneath Tom Odell’s flaws, and if the British media can for once decide upon a reasonable middle ground, it might just allow him to flourish without either the burden of expectation or the fear of failure looming over him.



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
2.7
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Comments:Add a Comment 
VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2014


968 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Been meaning to finish this for a while. This guy might really surprise on a future release.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2014


15997 Comments


the NME not liking something is actually a recommendation in itself

Digging: Hominido - Estirpe Litica

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2014


1664 Comments


Nice review! I would absolutely hate this.

tempest--
February 16th 2014


13434 Comments


nice piano work, but ultimately boring

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2014


968 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"the NME not liking something is actually a recommendation in itself"

Rephrased slightly, this could basically of been the review.


menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2014


15997 Comments


haha
that publication is surely at the bottom of the pile just below Q Magazine

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2014


7333 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I started a review for this when it first came out but never got around to finishing it. I think what bugs me the most is that everything about him is by the book. Every song structure and chord progression is so generic it's unreal. It's as if his musical education has eradicated any semblance of creativity and just drilled into his head the way that songs "should" be written, which is quite tragic really.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2014


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

What Ali said, but I'm more grumpy so he get's .5 less. Little ikkle thing about the review dough:

The jaunty piano lines which Odell will no doubt be characterised by are where the highlights can be found on Long Way Down.


This be bloated. For one the "which" doesn't need to be there and for two the rest of the sentence is a little confusing: I'm having problems trying to unwind it it's so knotted up! Great review despite this anyway.

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2014


968 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Agree with that point Ali.

Cheers Jonny - I'll edit that now.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2014


10190 Comments


cool seein' ya contribute as contrib =]

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

tommygun
February 17th 2014


24923 Comments


very nice, dan

Digging: Broods - Evergreen

LizaLowe
February 17th 2014


43 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Agreed!Nice review

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 17th 2014


968 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks guys.



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