8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Just Like Blood (Audio CD)
One word can easily encapsulate Tom McRae. You can choose that word, but "flawless" will be a synonym. However, for an artist so easily described, to categorise him is almost impossible - he simply does not fit into the modern world of poppy tosh and whining nu-metal. There's something wonderful about hearing a true singer-songwriter with so much talent in amongst the dross - artists like Ryan Adams and Tom McRae. McRae isn't Adams, however - his music is sombre and on occasion treads the line of being just a little too complaining; but the genius of this man is that he never ever crosses that line. Instead, just when you begin to consider thinking that negative thought, the power of his voice, lyrics and music washes it all away.
"Just Like Blood" is perhaps a little more upbeat than his debut; make no mistake, this is still a beautiful exercise in melancholia, but with the greatly increased instrumentation McRae has had access to this time around, there's less of the plaintive "voice and piano" moments. Like all truly talented musicians, this album evolves McRae's style; it's still "him" in every way, but this is a step forward, helped by that increased instrumental aspect and novelty sound effects his new producer has used to augment the music. Everything is polished, and each song feels complete in every way - not one leaves you dissatisfied. And each song has it's own defining aspect which stays with you, whether it's a particular riff or McRae's voice or a single unexpected note. Much like his debut, I don't find myself humming just one favourite song, but the entire album gets itself lodged in my head. It's not a bad mental companion.
Although this is all somewhat gushing and imprecise, it's a hard task to get across just how good this album is. From an analytical stance, it's hard to pick out specific tracks when they are all of such high quality - though Mermaid Blues, You Only Disappear and A Day Like Today are seriously impressive. As McRae himself says on his website (tommcrae.com), his music is all about finding that transcendent moment when you've lost yourself - you could be crying or laughing and you just don't know why. To say his songs are from the heart would be the ultimate understatement; so much emotion comes across in his lyrics that you can't help but close your eyes and feel those emotions too.
It's really rather good. Do buy it.