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So, let me break away from my ever-increasing tradition of writing about applications for the iPhone, to go back to a good old-fashioned review - a music album. This little gem is the debut album from Tommy Reilly - Words On The Floor.
Tommy Reilly may not be a name that rings familiar with many people on first proclamation, but some of you may recognise him from winning the Channel 4 show "Orange Unsigned Act" this time last year. His debut single, "Give Me A Call" reached 14 in the charts upon its release after he won the show.
His album was released in September last year after being produced by Grammy award-winning producer Bernard Butler. It included the single Give Me A Call and a few more excellent tunes to boot.
In a nutshell, Reilly is a singer-songwriter in the traditional sense - gravely yet tuneful vocals that comes from the Dylan-era and an acoustic guitar. This simple, yet perfect sound was the main reason behind him winning the television show. Hailing from the middle of Scotland, his accent comes through in his singing, but doesn't overpower it which some could argue happens to a singer such as Paolo Nutini.
The album opens with "Grab Me By The Collar", a three-minute indie-pop-rock song (or however they're labelled these days!) that has soothing, catchy melodies and big choruses bursting with life. The interludes between the verses even have the Dylan-esque harmonica to help grow more similarities. The instrumental breakdown and burst into the final chorus is slightly distorted, but held back somewhat to not get carried away - his live shows are defined by this - full of energy but not getting too over the top to mean the 'easy listening' acoustic guitarist becomes a full-on rock star.
Other highlights on the album include the single "Jackets" - his echoing vocals work perfectly in this song. Things build up with a muted guitar and hi-hat beat until the chorus bursts in. It's impossible to not tap your feet to it, and that's what makes a good song - the infectiousness.
The single he released straight after winning the Orange Unsigned Act is included on the album - Give Me A Call. It's been reproduced for this album compared to the original release, but still sounds as good as the first time I heard it. Clearly one of the stronger tracks off the album, it's a simple love song that's as catchy as it gets - a simple acoustic guitar riff and Reilly's echoing vocals.
Other highlights include "Dials" and the album's title track "Words on the Floor", but unfortunately there's a couple of tracks here which don't quite make the grade when compared to the likes of Jackets or Grab Me By The Collar, and this slight lack of consistency may be why Reilly is yet to break into the mainstream, but a rigorous touring schedule has ensured he's kept his name out there and is continuing to grow his fan base. Do yourself a favour - jump on the bandwagon before there's too many people on it!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Grab Me By The Collar
4 Kick The Covers
5 Words On The Floor
6 Tell Me So
7 Minds On Other Things
8 Having No-One
9 Just Like The Weather
10 Gimme A Call
11 Entertaining Thoughts
12 I Don't Like Coffee