It may not seem like it, but Tom Vek has been around for a long time. It’s been nine years since his debut album We Have Sound, and it took a whole six years for him to deliver follow up Leisure Seizure. Luckily, the former St. Martins graphic design student has pulled his finger out this time, as we’ve only had to wait a measly three years for this new release. Any worries about Tom having rushed this album are unjustified, as Luck offers some of his best work to date.
“What will they think of me, the sacrifice isn’t enough, I have to justify everything I do,” he dryly states in album opener "How Am I Meant To Know?", a slow burning and surprisingly understated start to one of Tom’s most lively pieces of work. There's definitely a noticeable theme of self-contempt running throughout the album, which is entirely undeserved, as this could well be the album that propels him into the attention of the mainstream. Which should be enough to cheer him up.
There are certain sections of this album which sound like they've been hastily thrown together on fruityloops, but don’t be deterred as Luck really picks up pace in the second half. With its stuttering analogue synth and dirty drum and bass drops, "You’ll Stay" sounds like it’s been plucked straight from an early Kano release, and it’s the type of song that’s usually heard blasted on the back of busses from tinny mobile phone speakers. In other words, it’s an absolute banger.
The fact is, Luck never veers too drastically from the usual Tom Vek style. However there's certainly nothing wrong with that, as it feels that he has really perfected and honed in on his unique brand of indie robo-funk, which means that Luck feels like a much sleeker and refined end product, meaning all those years spent waiting were not in vain.
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Tom Vek's new album 'Luck' delights in confounding expectations. Through a curious mixture of wobbly melodies and vocal harmonies, dance-friendly beats and discombobulating synth-centric arrangements Mr Vek is clearly having fun both inside and outside of the musical box.
Top tracks include the almost nightmarish opening number 'How Am I Meant To Know', with its staccato twists and turns snapping at your heels; the sparkling laser-like bursts, driving rhythms and lyrical drollery of 'Sherman (Animals In The Jungle)'; the uneasy shape-shifting structure and sinister implications of 'The Tongue Avoids The Teeth' and the curiously tangled beauty and spiritual longing captured in the powerful final track 'Let's Pray'.
There are more than enough ideas going on here to keep us dizzy for a week.
It's a good kind of dizzy though and I hope that you'll give it a try too.
when tom vek started out his first cd was so groundbreaking that I thought I had found another beck type singer/songwriter with some of the best songs I had heard for years. his second cd although disappointing was good enough for me to want to carry on and give another chance as the second cd is always very difficult after such a fantastic debut. this the third outing is however a mish mash of songwriting styles that seem to have the appearance of another rushed song and incomplete third cd sorry tom I thought i had so much to look forward too
I love Tom Vek and I love most of this album. But 'The Girl...' is literally the worst song I've ever heard.
All the other songs on the record are either very good or good (with 'Sherman' being outstanding), but 'The Girl...' is actually toe-curlingly shoddy. There's a moment when Tom's voice wanders off-key (horribly so) and for some reason, despite normally being such a perfectionist, he decided to leave this in. I love the idea of being a bit punk and showing the human side of music, but not when everything else is so clinical - the bit I'm talking about sticks out like a sore thumb. It actually makes me wince. In fact, it's a moment awful enough to deduct a star from my Amazon review.
Listen to the track - you'll know the bit I mean. Jesus...