Tom McRae

By on Sunday, 29th April 2007 at 5:31 pm

Tom McRae - King of CardsTom McRae’s fourth studio album, “King of Cards” is launched tomorrow here in the UK, and its one of his most accomplished works to date. I got a (quick) taste of his album when I saw him on the Hotel Cafe tour in November last year, and was amazed. On CD however, its simply amazing: more complex, full-band sound, and rewards you more each time you listen to it.

Gentle, brooding, and dark at times, “King of Cards” is more upbeat than some of Tom’s earlier albums. Its not as accomplished as some of his earlier stuff, as some of it feels like he’s going “through the motions”, however it could well be his “breakthrough” album that brings him to wider publicity than he has enjoyed before.

Some of the songs are just perfect for a night in with a bottle of wine: “Got a Suitcase, Got Regrets” seems to cover a breakup that isn’t exactly smooth – epic, yearning and bitterness-filled, this is one of the highlights of the album for me.

“One Mississippi” is the closest to a pop song Tom has done – accessible, catchy, memorable, it is one of the highlights of the album, however it does take him off more into James Blunt/Morrison / Paulo Nutini territory than his usual Nick Drake / Jeff Buckly route.

Overall, a very accomplished album, yet not as good as some of his earlier stuff: See his self titled debut which was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize in 2003 – its a bit better, but this one is more upbeat.

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