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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Tom Mcrae
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£5.45+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 19 December 2000
Watching Later with Jools Holland recently (admitedly to see the rather dissapointing performance from Badly Drawn Boy)I was spellbound by this folk singer who just did the one song on the show. That was all it took though, I went out the following day and bought this album, and was stunned by the content.
Simple acoustic guitar and haunting vocals are beautifully combined with flanged and distorted orchestration, making this one tight and atmospheric recording.
Choice listening on this album has to be the ultimately melancholy "End of the World News (Dose Me Up)", bringing in the con of religion against the world as we know it. Also, the haunting "Bloodless", telling the tale of presumption and unrequaited love. Lyrics like this make perfect sence, this man has lived and learnt and is not scared to pass on his knowledge.
This is a must in any music fan's collection as it demonsrates better than most the sheer brilliance of simplisity. Be warned about content though, Steps this ain't. But melancholy is the way that good music has always been, why change that. Tom McCrae - I tip my hat to you sir. Mesmarising.
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on 28 February 2006
Other Reviewers have described more eloquently than I could Tom's passion, song-writing, talent and the haunting beauty of his music. Words that spring to mind would be seductive cello parts, angelic singing, soaring performance and soul-searching lyrics.
This is music to slit your wrists to.
That's no bad thing but it's worth pointing out the unrelenting melancholy intermingled with the beauty.
I'd always thought that this was my favourite album of the three he's written (and I think it remains so) but I've realised that these songs take a while to sink in. With a good deal of play, and having seen Tom a few times, almost all these songs have become surging anthems to be sung along to rather than simply admired from the other end of a pair of earphones. The other two albums are starting to have the same effect.
Buy this CD and it'll become a part of you.
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on 21 January 2003
This album is probably the best thing I came across, music wise at least, when I was at University. These are simple elegiac songs without fancy production or overt pretension. McRae clearly sings from the heart and this come across in all thirteen of the songs here.
Unlike many of his whiny peers McRae never becomes self pitying and if he sings of social alienation then it is a deliberate exile. He manages to brilliantly convey the feeling of being lost in a society that has itself lost its way. His critique is at its most devastating in End of the World News and Bloodless but the tone persists throughout. He offers no solution and lays no blame, simply documenting the way so many of my generation feel about the world today.
However it is the songs themselves and particularly the excellent and poetic lyrics that set this album apart. The truly great thing is that on first listen it seems like an alright album with a couple of standout tracks. However over the year or so that I've had this album my favourite songs have kept shifting until they've covered pretty much every track (Language of Fools and Draw Down the Stars being the only exceptions but I guess I'll get there). Every song is a shining example of how good the whole singer/songwriter thing can be when its stripped to its bear bones.
The album also reminds you how genuine talent so often gets passed over. I just hope the follow up is anywhere near as good.
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on 20 February 2002
Now, this is really something special. It has to be said that there are just too many cheap, pop-orientatied solo artists around these days. But one good thing about this is that it makes decent artists like Tom McRae shine like gold. I've had the album for about six months, but even up until today (when I decided to offer a review of the album to Amazon), I still find myself sitting down with my guitar and attempting to play along with the wonderful songs. There is something in the music here that is at the same time touching as it is harrowning. Some of the lyrics and the singing is so sad, that it can actully feel colder in the room you're sitting in. I've yet to hear Tom McRae live, but at the nearest opportunity, I will.
The spooky and simple first track, 'You Cut Her Hair', is a good indication of the mood for the rest of the album, even though no two songs are alike. If the album had started with the more up-beat second track (and single) 'End Of The World News', then the album may have had a deceptive beginning, and the other songs could even be less approachable than they are. 'End Of The World News' is a good song for a hit single, but it's the only one of it's kind on here. Songs like 'One More Mile' are emotional songs of epic proportions, harking back to stuff like Jeff Buckley (remember him?). Other songs such as 'Bloodless' and 'The Boy With The Bubblegum' are strong, hard songs held together by nothing more than McRae's piercing voice. Beautiful and fearful. My personal favourite on the labum is 'Untitled', which just fills me with imagery of loss and passion, even if the meaning may be lost on me. I don't know.
I must say that between me and friends who have heard the album, there have been mixed responses. Many folks I know didn't like the album because they thought it was not especially colourful, or not catchy enough. I can agree with them there - none of the songs are especially catchy and sing-alongy, especially on the first listening. But the depth and beauty behind the songs appears over time, as it does with all good music, in my eyes anyway. The songs do end up in your head as easily as some tune you may have heard on the radio. But the songs stick in your head and could stand next to whatever memories you have to match them. If you have a sad memory, you may find a song here that will sit with it perfectly for a long time. If you have a good memory, you may find a song here that will be the perfect mini-soundtrack for it. I think that it's plainly obvious that McRae wrote each of these songs around a memory, or an emotion, or an event, and even if that particular situation is not aparent to the listener, the listener's own is, and becomes exhumed by the songs themselves.
Buy this album if you want to find some music that will grab you and really make you feel like there are still brilliant musicians out there. Musicians writing from the heart. Musicians writing for the sake of music, not money.
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on 1 February 2006
Tom Mcrae is one of the truly outstanding artists of our generations. I was introduced to him by my brother, and have since bought all of his albums, including his most recent 'All Maps Welcome'.
There are some outstanding songs on this album, including 'End of the world now', and 'bloodless', but to be honest, it is immensly difficult to pick one out from the array of fantasticly beautiful music .
One of the best singer/songwriter's out there, and certainly deserves more recognition than he has gained.
A must have!!
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on 20 April 2002
This album was intrtoduced to me by a friend and i have to say that i am thankful to him. Tom Mcrae's self titled album is a modern day masterpeice. His songs make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. His singing style is like no over that I have heard. He makes me want to write my feelings down and try to get a tune to them. His simple style of songs with acoustic guitar and strings really does make you feel like your heart strings are being pulled. The stand out track in my opinion is 'Untitled', Tom's voice is emotional and it really made me feel good. In a world where we are pumped to the brim of manafactured music it was refreshing to hear an album that made me sit up and listen. You want to hear every word he says. All of the songs on this album are level if not better than the tracks on David Gray's White Ladder album. If you've had enough of Will young and all the other pop music then this album is a must.
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on 9 October 2001
I buy a load of music (thanks to Amazon!) in the full knowledge that most of it is hot today but will be gone tomorrow. But I keep buying and listening as every now and again, no more than 4 or 5 times a year, I hear something that I know will stay in the cd player for some time to come. And this album most definately falls into this category. I admit that the first time I heard it (in my car, driving through Slough, not exactly the ideal forum) I wasn't overly taken, thought the lad was whinging a bit and none of the songs really grabbed me. The album got stuffed in the glove compartment, where it would have stayed but for a trip on the M25 (the perfect place to listen to music as you spend so much time stationary), I sat back and listened to it and was drawn in to Tom's dark and disturbing world. The lyrics make the man, he sings "you wake up to the sound of alarms/and your driving your fabulous car/listening to the music that reminds you/you used to be young" and there's me stuck on the M25 in my new car, beginning to feel that I won't be young forever, thinking that is a little bit too close to the mark.
Obviously any review is entirely subjective, so, I can tell you that the other albums I have bought in the last 6 months or so that have grabbed me are Elbow (which I think is on a par with Tom's album - more uneven overall) Turin Brakes (pretty good, not in the same category as Tom or Elbow but better than most) and Jeff Buckleys Grace (which blew me away - I know - got to that one very late - but happy that I did), and I hated the Alfie album (I tried so hard to like it after reading all the positive reviews on Amazon, but it just sounds like an out take from the Beatles circa 1966) so that should give the punters reading this an idea of what is on my radar. If you like thought provoking, complex lyrics, a series of catchy tunes that stay in your head, delivered by a man with strong voice and a will to use it - you will like this album - I have no hestitation in recommending it - and I hear that he is excellent live too - he should be huge, but I doubt that he will be, afterall who needs music that stimulates when we have Robbie.
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on 6 January 2004
Walking past Tom's set at Glastonbury 2003 with my daughter Ellie. The sounds coming from the 'Other' stage rose up and down on the wind and we looked at each other and sat down. We both knew we had luckily stumbled on a true talent. Have now seen him twice more. Brought 'Just Like Blood' first, and then this album. Doesn't really matter which way round you listen to them anyway as words cannot really express how Tom's music can affect us. Be prepared to be touched, a little shocked by some of the darker lines, try and envisage just who it is he is talking about, I thought Joan of Arc (You cut her hair) I could be wrong - it doesn't really matter. Standout tracks for us Bloodless, A & B, End of the World News - just dose us up forever please Tom - thank you
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on 8 March 2005
I give this album 5 stars, as it is honest, musically and lyrically it is brilliant, if you like bands like I Am Kloot, David Gray, Damien Rice and Singer/songwriter stuff, this is a MUST! Beautiful songs throughout, a rare talent. He is a british singer/songwriter, songs on this album are all good specially: You cut her hair, bloodless, the boy with the bubblegun, I ain't scared of lightning and a and b song, definately worth a look, pure class! If anyone knows any british singer/songwriters who are as good as Tom Mcrae, if you could email me at Haylearockchick@hotmail.com, and list them, it would be much appreciated, as i struggle being able to find stuff thats not as commercial! Cheers - BUY IT NOW - This cd and his follow up cd, are beautiful, I reccommend to any true music fan!
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on 6 June 2002
If the world was a fair place the streets would be paved with chocolate, University essays would be graded objectively and Tom McRae would be huge. But, unfortunately, the world isn't a fair place and consequently, one of the U.K's most versatile and haunting song writers is going unnoticed by both public and music press. Tom McRae's debut album proves that nu-metal is not, indeed, the true future of music. It's cutting and contrasting melodies, combined with somewhat unusual use of percussion in "A+B Song "(incidently, my favourite track on the CD) highlights the fact that a band doesn't need overly produced synthised music if they are truly talented. It's just truly unfortunate that McRae's talent for haunting the listener is not being acknowledged due to the current low ebb in the music industry. Tom McRae is a true talent who will, despite not wearing baggy jeans and having bodily piercings, be a success. Buy the album-trust me.
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