- Audio CD (30 Sept. 2010)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Cooking Vinyl
- ASIN: B002VP3C4S
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,959 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Alphabet Of Hurricanes CD
|Price:||£5.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details|
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Sounding like a tired and weary group of circus troupe artists trekking homewards through muddy country lanes at night, Tom McRae’s fifth studio album shows clear signs of having been made by a man suffering from a level of nervous exhaustion – prompted by a ferocious touring schedule over the last three years.
But thankfully this record is short on narcissistic self pity and somewhat longer on eloquent, windswept folk tales of crepuscular meetings, heavy seas and worn-out clothes.
The portentousness is ladled on a tad too quickly in places. The claustrophobic atmospherics of the wonderfully titled Summer of John Wayne funnel out into a pointlessly dirgy middle sequence, and Told My Troubles to the River has Waits-style guttural intentions that fail to fully convince.
American Spirit, however, is a gorgeous paean to lost passions that ends with McRae’s voice slowly fading from the speakers as he implores us to “swim with me further from the shore. Swim with me ‘til I can swim no more”. The album’s standout, Please, begins with a rolling acoustic riff reminiscent of Rider on the Wheel by Nick Drake, before veering deeper into a soundscape filled with a sooty marching band, dirty yet defiant.
Now largely free to concentrate on the music alone, following dangerous levels of hype early in his career, McRae confirms on this showing that he’s capable of producing an unfiltered, muggy sound where fires burn only to be quickly doused within the confines of just one verse. This is a far from perfect album, but at its peak it’s highly mature, seasoned music. Exhaustion clearly seems to be beneficial to McRae’s unique sound. --Rob Crossan
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Top Customer Reviews
Alphabet of Hurricanes is I think his best work since Just Like Blood, and a close relation to his debut, with it's stark lyrics and bare sound, which occasionally gives way to huge swells of accompanying instruments. It is by far his most intimate album, recorded in his flat and noticeably devoid of the decorative frills of Just Like Blood or the jarring attempts to be overtly mainstream on King of Cards. It actually reminded me of the folk touchstone, Pink Moon. It is a very different record to that, but like that the bareness and poetic honesty is breathtaking.
Tom has a very unique sounding album here and it will perhaps in time be my favourite after a year of listening. More than anything this album sounds like a man who has learnt who he is, where he belongs and the sound of someone loves what he is doing. I hope it gets him the kind of attention he richly deserves, but I fear it is too intimate and private for a mainstream audience. I do not think that is a bad thing.
I strongly recommend it.
Another fantastic release sees Tom going back to his roots; spine chilling music, great lyrics and rollercoster rides. From "Still Love You" with it's catchy, foot tapping banjo to the quite brilliant and epic "Out of the Walls"(just close your eyes and shut out the world with this track) the album is full of real gems.
The CD deserves to be in every CD collection, and we all know it won't receive the credit it deserves .. perhaps that's what make Tom McRae who he is though..........
...... maybe it's time to test this theory though!!!!!!!
Keep up the Good work Mr McRae.
I've played this CD half-a-dozen times now and it's definitely a grower. What comes across is someone comfortable in what they do yet happy to experiment with different styles in order to move the music forward. Sure, some of the tracks hark back to the 'old' Tom (American Spirit, Out of the Walls) but others maybe point to the possible direction that Tom's music will move in the future. All I know is that life would be a lot duller without performers like Tom doing what they do, and challenging us to come along for the ride.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like any of Tom's stuff this album will not disappoint. I loved just like blood and have only just got around to buying this one - should have got it ages agoPublished on 11 April 2013 by D Hill
Really good CD from Tom McRae, his voice is superb......A great range of songs, well worth buying. Played in front of house guests who loved the chilled vibePublished on 11 Mar. 2013 by Brockster
The debut Tom McRae album is a corker, Mercury-nominated and the culmination of his writing up to the point of discovery and being unleashed upon the world. Read morePublished on 15 Feb. 2013 by C. Porter
Sublime, buy it now. Your life will be better with this record in it! All of Tom's albums are great.Published on 9 Dec. 2010 by Jimbob
"Alphabet of Hurricanes" is an album to savour and is quickly becoming my favourite album by this artist. Read morePublished on 23 Feb. 2010 by kaper
Having been a fan of Tom Mcrae since pretty much day one - its safe to say I may be a little biased but I am able to be objective - really.... Read morePublished on 20 Feb. 2010 by Catherine walker