Hear The Track HereI had this track back to back with The Rascal Theorist and was struck by how both artists were songwriters that stand out above the surging mob that is Soundclick. As a musician for most of my life I knew just how hard (or sometimes so easy) songwriting can be. Takes real skill and talent to construct a song that is distinctly different enough to stand out in a crowd, but the real emphasis is on talent. Thomas J has a personal respect also because I feel as if I have watched him grow up, if you know what I mean. I watched him take his first steps with weird n wacky, then w&w with added horns and finally a spotty teenager with gangly limbs and an acoustic guitar who just wanted to sing songs about life and the modern condition. Whenever I visit now I see the man who persevered, through everything, in his own musical vision, expanding that acoustic guitar into full blown arrangements (in a Thomas J style obviously); a truly maturing musician.
I was struck time and time again while listening to Favourite Toy of how close he is in sound now (and song quality too) to one of my all time musical heroes; Lloyd Cole. Lloyd had the misfortune to be 'big in the Eighties' and even that has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Fact is, he wasn't to everyone's taste but has since become much more famous. The kind of everyman character of his songs is what Thomas and he share, as well as much of the sound. This is not to say Thomas is shamelessly copying my hero, he wouldn't stoop so low and neither would he have to. Favourite Toy is proof enough that Thomas is - and always will be - his own man, although do be aware that the usual Thomas J rough production sound is well in evidence.
Most other people I'd be ragging on for such a move but with Thomas, as many have discovered, its as much a part of his style as the weird little vignettes he brings before us. The track bounds out of the speakers with absurd energy levels, before settling down into a very Eighties sound and structured song that Thomas's vocals sit in perfectly. Like his music, he has a very distinctive voice and - I suspect - it may well be an acquired taste but I got it way back and have delighted ever since in the fun and style this musician brings to almost every single track. Mind you, the reference to Lloyd Cole will keep me personally coming back to this track time and time again so great is its similarity and I doubt very much whether this was intentional on Thomas's part, he'll probably be just as puzzled as other artists I have likened him too (ie the gangly spotty teenager sounded much like Johnathon Richman). Whoever just said 'who???' illustrated my point perfectly. Here, ya lazy lot, get some history :)
TJM in f-i-n-e form. Highly Recommended blast of energy.