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Tom Brosseau - Posthumous Success

  by Sarah Maybank

published: 8 / 5 / 2009

Tom Brosseau - Posthumous Success
Label: Fat Cat Records
Format: CD


Self-mocking latest album from North Dakota-born singer-songwriter Tom Brosseau, which looks to pre-war America for inspiration and then merges it with the more contemporary

Acoustic guitar-toting, North Dakota native Tom Brosseau has an unassuming demeanour, a bit of a girl’s voice, and an olde worlde-style website done up in the style of your granny’s parlour – if she had been your granny way back in, say, 1900. The kind of lily-livered credentials, then, to have baying crowds screaming, "Throw him to the James Blunt fans." However, A-list patronage from John Parish and PJ Harvey (Parish produced the album, Brosseau’s about to support Parish and Peej on tour) mean we should be expecting something more meaty than Blunt’s sausage factory of warbling pseudo-emotion. And we’d be right. As wry as the self-mocking title suggests, ‘Posthumous Success’ is a 12-strong set of stories gently spun over scuffed-up percussion and sparingly plucked guitars. But the thing that probably captivated Harvey and Parish is Brosseau’s playful knack of subverting his own wide-eyed troubadour image. His influences are all over the place – and many of them nowhere near the ‘acoustica’ section. There must be some Nine Inch Nails lurking in his record collection, if the industrial noise clanging atonally in the background of ‘You Don’t Know’ is anything to go by, while ‘Drum Roll’, all about stage star Miss Lucy getting ready to step into the spotlight, evokes Lou Reed’s sneery, street-savvy delivery, if a lot lighter on the sleaze. ‘Boot Hill’, meanwhile, consists of little more than ambient noise, some female oooh-ooohs and a twanging jew’s harp. There’s nothing new in lacing a genre as old as the hills and as familiar and comfy as a pair of well-worn shoes with a grab-bag of modern flourishes – hello Beck. But it takes a deft touch to stop it sounding like a pig’s ear. A big hand, then, to Mr Posthumous Success.

Track Listing:-
1 Favourite Colour Blue
2 Been True
3 Big Time
4 Boothill
5 You Don't Know My Friends
6 New Heights
7 Youth Decay
8 Drumroll
9 Miss Lucy
10 Axe & Stump
11 Chandler
12 Wishbone Medallion
13 Favourite Colour Blue (2)

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