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Tom the Lion

Sleep

(Verve; US: 13 May 2014; UK: 17 Feb 2014)

Imagine the unholy musical love child of Fleet Foxes’ Robin Peckold, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Chris Martin at his most insufferable, and (sorry to remind you) James Blunt, and you’ve got the basic idea of what the dreadfully named Tom the Lion sounds like. Ostensibly the work of an “enigmatic” London-based singer-songwriter, this is soulless music crafted with a purpose, and a very specific, very commercial one at that.


Overproduced and impeccably immaculate (yacht folk?), it’s washed clean of any grit and bears a lustrous sheen that is practically blinding. Bright, shiny and new, Sleep is ready and waiting to be snatched up by any number of slick, soulless marketing campaigns and/or “serious/emotional” Hollywood dreck. Sleep is definitely something you should do on this one, though your mom will probably enjoy it a great deal and recommend it to you at some point. Worst song of the year nomination: “Ragdoll”.

Rating:

John is a Michigan-based musician and writer. He currently reviews music for PopMatters and Spectrum Culture, while also working his way through his ever-expanding record collection at www.tumblr.com/blog/vinylcompulsion.


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