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Thom Morecroft - The Feng Shui and the Sushi

  by Steve Kinrade

published: 24 / 2 / 2020

Thom Morecroft - The Feng Shui and the Sushi
Label: Nine x Nine Records
Format: CD


Masterful and evocative debut album from rising Liverpool-based singer-songwriter Thom Morecroft

Its always interesting when a singer-songwriter that is more known for their solo acoustic appearances steps up to make their first album. One of the main dilemmas is that of production; do they stick to the more familiar or willingly journey into creative pastures new? And it’s a high stakes decision, one that can be acted on in haste, but reflected upon in leisure. Happily, if Thom Morecroft did have any anxiety over his approach to the recording and production of this album, in hindsight he definitely made the right decision. 'The Feng-Shui and the Sushi' is a masterful debut album which ticks all the “must-have” boxes: great song-smithery; superb performances, as well as subtle, nuanced and sympathetic production. So let’s consider firstly the compositions, which sees Morecroft exhibit his many styles of song-writing. 'Pictures in the Sun' is the perfect tune for budding pop-pickers, dispatched to our sonic satisfaction in a delirious two minutes and fifteen seconds. Why need more time to get to the point when you have a forensic ability to cut to the musical chase? 'I’ve Made Room' gives us Morecroft at his intimate, confessional best - his vocal delivered as if he was just addressing you the listener, just the two of you within a charged emotional landscape. 'The Least You Can Do' grooves nicely, and catches the listener unaware as they are singing and moving along, it’s that infectious. 'Oh Rocko' is melancholy that you gladly sing along too; 'Wrote My Dad a Song' fracks the emotional landscape of what has gone before, with Morecroft’s voice vibrating with an intensity rarely heard these days. It is a song that bookends his 'The Beast', and succeeds in making the intensely personal into the universal. 'Haytide' is gospel tinged and anthemic (in a good way), with the key change and guest vocals of Jenny Coyle elevate the the song to new heights. 'Moon Moon Shake It' allows Morecroft to experiment with different beats and sound textures. Here we are given a glimpse of Morecroft’s vast artistic potential. The performances of all the musicians that have been mustered by Morecroft are all top notch, with everyone displaying their considerable musical chops. The rhythm section of Gareth Dawson (drums) and James Thorne (bass) lock well together, but also show an imaginative and creative approach, which helps the compositions to flourish. The contributions of Max O’Hara (keyboards), Danny Bradley (guitars), Simon Brady (mandolin), Nick Branton (clarinet and baritone sax) and Jenny Coyle, Callum Gilligan and Elle Schillereff (vocals) are all welcomed and admired in equal measure. But it’s the nuanced production that adds the value to Morecroft songs, and James Thorne must be acknowledged for his influence. He ensures the musical concept arrives at its designated destination.Added to the engineering talents of man of the moment Tom Roache, we have an album that has reached its potential due to the Morecroft’s curation of his collaborators. The bar has been set high, and Morecroft’s next dilemma is how he can sustain momentum and actually build on this musical marker. The arrival of 'The Feng-Shui and the Sushi', however, means all bets are off, and anything is now possible.

Track Listing:-
1 You Can Lay
2 Pictures In the Sun
3 I've Made Room
4 Time Will Tell
5 The Least That You Can Do
6 Moon Moon Shake it
7 Now I've Opened the Door
8 The French Girl
9 Waiting 'til Now
10 Oh Rocko
11 Haytide
12 Wrote My Dad a Song

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