There are far too many singer-songwriters in the music business. Luckily for Tom Brosseau, he’s not a singer-songwriter, he’s a storyteller. His vocal style is more akin to Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan chatting than Pavarotti or Sinatra. Also, luckily for Tom Brosseau, his stories are well worth telling.
The album Posthumous Success is bookended by two versions of the same song, ‘Favourite Colour Blue’ which immediately lets you know what you’re in for. Don’t expect the earth to be shaken, but you will be gently rocked by some smooth lullabies.
It’s on the third track, ‘Big Time’, that the album really comes alive. It’s one of the best songs Brosseau has ever recorded, and if Jim Carroll is looking for a tune of the week this week, he can’t go far wrong selecting this. It’d be the tune of most weeks.
Brosseau’s wordplay is evident on tracks such as ‘You Don’t Know My Friends’ and the bouncy ‘New Heights’. The former contains the amusing line “I don’t like watermelons because of the seeds”, and the latter describes a conversation with his mother about his new paramour. Trust me, they’re far more interesting than I make them out to be here.
Brosseau’s charm possibly lies in his simplicity. Even the sparse ‘Drumroll’ is made interesting by his intoning, alluring vocal as well as the brilliant backing music. The instrumental tracks on here too, are similarly beautiful (for example the resonant ‘Miss Lucy’).
The album is a joy from start to finish and doesn’t outstay its welcome. And unlike Albert Camus, whom the album is named after, Brosseau looks set to have some prehumous success. (Cheesy, but I couldn’t help it)
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