Tom Odell - Monsters

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 23 / 8 / 2021

Tom Odell - Monsters

Label: Columbia
Format: CD
Frank but uplifting pop on new album from Chichester-born singer-songwriter Tom Odell written as he recuperated from alcohol problems


As he cheerfully admits, Tom Odell went very Billy Joel on his last album back in 2018 - 'Jubilee Road'. But his latest release, 'Monsters', couldn't be more different. An abundance of synths and pop introspection has been added to the mix. The Chichester piano man has been having a good year with his 2013 single, 'Another Love', enjoying a sudden upswing in streaming statistics – and many fans clamouring for the release of the new album. As he recounts with his customary frankness, 'Monsters' emerged from a tough time for Tom Odell. He suffered a lengthy period of anxiety whilst alone in California with an alcohol problem. Approaching 30, he abandoned plans to make an album in LA and flew back to his parents' home in West Sussex to recuperate. He wrote his way through his mental health issues and the upshot is his new album. 'Monsters' is quite heavy in tone but uplifting, too – thanks to the sheer brightness of its tunes. The title track - which is included twice – addresses Odell's demons and vows to overcome them. On a song called 'Lockdown' he goes on to admit that the pandemic has at least put his personal woes into perspective. Piano ballad 'Numb' is enhanced with eerie synths and shuddering bass frequencies and there are auto-tuned vocals on 'Noise' and layered rhythmic effects on 'Money'. But Odell does rely on his basic singer-songwriter skills to keep a sense of balance throughout the album. The love songs are probably the most striking tracks – the acoustic 'Tears That Never Dry' is driven by a crisp hook whilst romantic ballad 'Lose You Again' has a promo video shot in a deserted Wembley on the eve of Euro 2020. Tom Odell says he has been inspired by the DIY pop of James Blake and Billie Eilish and has enjoyed exploring a new-found sense of adventure. However several tracks on 'Monsters' also demonstrate that Odell is still capable of crafting an arena-filling anthem!

Track Listing:-

1 numb
2 over you yet
3 noise
4 money
5 tears that never dry
6 monster v.2
7 lockdown
8 lose you again
9 fighting fire with fire
10 problems
11 me and my friends
12 country star
13 by this time tomorrow
14 streets of heaven
15 don't be afraid of the dark
16 monster v.1

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