23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2004
I bought this on a word of mouth comparison with Damien Rice, and it's the best tip off I've ever had in music.
While the style of this album fits nearer Damien Rice's 'O', Tom's voice fits better somewhere between Chris Martin and Jeff Buckley. There are certain notes Tom sings that you could actually think WAS Jeff Buckley - and that adds a little bit of magic to the proceedings for me.
Tom's incredible voice isn't the only superlative instrument on show here. The orchestration is sumptuous throughout, the intricate guitar (especially on 'Don't Let Go') and pounding bass drums all add to a truly wonderful sound.
Picking a clear highlight from this album is tricky, as there are no fillers and no bad or misplaced tracks. If I had to pick one - I'd have to pick two. 'My Declaration' is a wonderful uplifting experience, but the real pinnacle of this album's power for me is 'Almost There' - it starts a delicate recollection of what might have been (heart wrenching is such a cliche but I'll use it here), before building to a crescendo of sound and increasingly high vocals - there's a point you think Tom's voice is going to break and he's going to burst into tears. Absolutley incredible and very very moving. 'Don't Let Go' and 'Scorpio Boy' are also worthy of mentioning.
I find it mind blowing that anyone could release an album THIS GOOD. Tom is a very gifted, talented man. This is an album to get truly lost and absorbed in. It's tender, disarming and life-affirming and I can't stop listening to it.
If you didn't like Damien Rice's 'O', I'm not sure this is your cup of tea, but if you did, and you haven't heard Tom Baxter yet - buy it - you won't regret it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2004
This is an album of such beauty and power and such a mixture of raw honesty and musical craftsmanship that it is amazing to realize that this is his first album. He seems to have arrived on the scene fully formed.
There are so many highlights and 'goose pimpley' moments on this album that it seems almost churlish to pick one out but when he sings "her candle skin and her candle eyes' in the monumental climax of Don';t Let Go, I felt that this was the most moved I have ever felt by the amazing power of music.
This is an extraordinary album that I think may soon be considered to be a classic. Thank you Mr Tom Baxter for getting me excited about real music again. Its BRILLIANT!!!!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2004
This album is an emotional rollercoaster of a journey ranging from a deft lightness of touch to soul piercing, heart wrenching expression, hence the title "Feather and Stone". Tom Baxter's music and lyrics tell of a yearning and endeavour to find a way to deal with tribulations that life has thrown at him; you may recognize it as your own journey, and thus feel uplifted by such songs as "My Declaration", and "This Boy". These songs show how you can endure the painful moments on life's journey and emerge with a positive statement of hope, energy and love. The words and music of each song are intertwined, each carrying and defining the other.
Most of the tracks on this album are deceptive, starting off gentle and slow and then almost impercpeptively building to a dramatic climax; you find yourself quite lost in the enveloping sound which, at times, can be quite haunting. The musical structure is quite complex and there is always something new to hear on each playing of the album.
Tom Baxter's voice is a combination of strong, clear and sweet, simultaneously and separately. Don't be fooled. When he hits the high notes and holds them, he reaches into your heart and squeezes.
He puts a "WARNING" on the inside sleeve of the album stating: -
"This music is intended to be used 'ONLY' in conjunction with FULLY ENGAGED 'HEART AND SOUL'", a statement we entirely uphold!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2004
Having seen Tom Baxter at Bush Hall a couple of times last summer, I was really pleased to see he had managed to get signed and release an album. The album is a really powerful piece of work. Most of the songs tend to build up from a quiet Damien Rice type acoustic into a more banging Jeff Buckley sound, often using a string quartet as backing - sounds weird, but it is truly angst-ridden and moving stuff, and demands to be played at high volume. I know this is like those annoying times when a friend tells you that the film is not as good as the book, but although this album is 5 star, if you like it, you have to see Baxter live at an intimate venue - truly, a 6 star live performer.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2005
I heard 'This Boy' and 'My Declaration' on the radio, so decided to buy Tom Baxter's album. If you've done the same but are unsure about buying the CD, don't be. Those two tracks are a good indicator of what it's like.
Tom's edgy vocal style fits well over his guitar playing - 'A Day in Verona' and 'Don't let go' are the best examples of this. The songs are laced with passion and an undefinable element that makes them great. The guitar and piano melodies are the underlying vehicle for Tom's voice, and they really stand out well. All the threads on each song flow together flawlessly to create a perfect sound. There are no weak tracks, only ones that stand up more.
Overall it's a very uplifting CD. There are positive lyrics and happy tunes, but also the right balance of introspection too. You can hear flavours of Jeff Buckley and Ed Harcourt occasionally, but that's all - Tom's made his own sound here. If you want something that's easy to listen to but is still in touch with its emotions, I recommend you buy this album.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2004
Having seen Baxter perform as a support act for Jamie Cullum (absolutely not the same genre - more Coldplay / Jeff Buckley) I eagerly awaited the release of some recorded material. This album is more than I could have expected and a bonus to any record collection. His voice is truly amazing and has echoes of the aforementioned Chris Martin and Buckley, and the songs are very powerful. His first single release 'This Boy' is not my favourite but I understand why they released it. His second single 'Declaration' is the first track on the album and is a cracker - the perfect platform to demonstrate his vocal talents. My personal favourite is 'Day in Verona' which produced the old "hairs on the back of the neck" reaction when I heard him live and continues to impress. This artist is worth supporting and I have brought this album to the attention of many of my friends who have agreed with my assessment. Give it a go - you will not be disappointed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2004
I bought this album on the strength of Mr.Wogan's championing of Tom Baxter on radio 2, and I am delighted with it. Baxter's voice sounds uncannily like that of the late Jeff Buckley, although he doesn't wail quite as much, apart from a couple of tracks towards the end (especially "Don't Let Go"), which is why i didn't want to award 5 stars! Otherwise the album is truly beautiful, Baxter sounds like Buckley backed by gorgeous piano and lush strings. The piano sometimes reminds me of Bruce Hornsby's tinklings. Favourite tracks for me are the opening emotional "This Declaration", "This Boy" which swings along nicely and the romantic "Day In Verona". However, the other tracks are now starting to stand out too, growing on me. Thoroughly recommended, especially to fans of Jeff Buckley, Chris Martin and the like......
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2004
"In today's artificially formed band culture", I ponder, "I wish somebody would produce some decent music that is written with sweat and tears", and then comes along an artist, Tom Baxter, and your wishes are answered.
I first heard Tom Baxter live, as a preceding act before Jamie Cullum at the Hammersmith Apollo. I was immediately mesmorised, as were the whole audience, with his unique voice, clever lyrics, and rythmic melodies that in songs like "my declaration" and "don't let go", change without effort.
This simply is a great album.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2007
Quite simply Tom Baxter is amazing. I have seen him live three times now and every time I do he just blows me away.
Hi voice is fantastic and,blended with the superb guitar playing, piano and fiddle, Baxter creates something quite special here.
Admittedly there are many male solo artists about at the moment who are good (Damien Rice, Tom McRae, Teddy Thompson to name a few) but Baxter simply eclipses them - I'm stunned that he is not yet enjoying the sort of success that Damien Rice has found.
If you buy only one album by a male solo artist this year then get this - you won't be disapointed. Everybody I have played it to has loved it and now onws a copy for themselves.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2004
i have to confess to not actually owning this album but listening to it at work. i was alittle dubious when a customer came in and asked for the album that Terry Wogan is raving about on radio 4 but, eventually, i gave it a try.
i'm glad that i did. old wogan has put his radio presenting might behind a very worthwhile cause. Tom Baxter has brought an album that fits in with the way musical tastes re leaning recently with a voice that ecoes of Coldplay at times and Jeff Buckley at others you cannot help but be impressed by his singing talents.
the songs themselves teem with a finely honed orchestral prowess and melodic character. The first song on the album can be very much likened with Coldplay's 'In my place' with it's pounding, bouncing drum track and swooping vocals.
in other tracks he breaks off into falsetto howls a la Jeff Buckley.
he has crafted an album of songs that move and inspire. this man has a future ahead of him rivalling that of Chris Martin and chums, snow patrol and even Thom MrRae.
good luck sir, me and Wogan are behind you!