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Tom Carter

Look Around

Review by Gary Hill

This album is quite good. It isn’t without its issues, though. For one thing, the vocals aren’t always stellar. That’s not really a problem, though. The biggest issue to me is that this is a case where less would have been more. There are a few songs here that are just sort of also-rans. They are all bunched together at the end. Perhaps a better option would have been separating them at earlier points on the disc. I actually think, though, this would have worked better if they were left off the disc altogether. Either way, though, you can’t complain about the first batch of songs. They are great.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
You Go

This rocker has some punk in it, but overall is very much a high energy power-pop styled tune. It’s a great number. I love the bass work on this thing.

Lost in This World
Definitely more along the lines of power-pop, this even feels a bit like Cheap Trick to me. I can see comparisons to Off Broadway, too. Either way, it’s another strong tune that’s catchy.
Look Around
I like the vaguely psychedelic sound on the instrumental section here. The song is very much in line with 1960s rock music.
Remember the Days
An alternative rock edge merges with the sound from the rest of the disc. This a bit rough around the edges, but works well.
Down But Not Out
There is definitely a punky edge to this. Still, the power-pop sounds and old school rock edges on this thing are classy. There is a Kinks sort of vibe here to me. The instrumental section is classy, and the harmonica adds some magic to it.
Julian Says
This is one of the coolest things here. There is a real psychedelic rock edge here. Yet in some ways it definitely reminds me of Cheap Trick. This has one of the most unusual and complex musical arrangements of the set really. It’s one of my favorites on the disc for sure.
Overdrive
Power-pop and 1960s rock are mixed here to great effect. I like the old school guitar solo quite a bit. Really, though, the whole piece works very well. This is a really accessible cut that’s among the best here.
Prisoner in a Cell
More of a melodic rocker, this has a modern alternative edge to it, but informed by more old school sounds. There is harmonica on this cut, too.
Where Are the Good Times
This one is solid, but not really a standout. It’s sort of “more of the same” without anything to really make it stand apart.
We Had It Made
The same general things I mentioned on the last song could be said about this one. .
Still On We Go
Another that just doesn’t hold up, I really think it would have been a much better set if it had ended with “Prisoner in a Cell.”
 
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