Tom Fuller Band

Abstract Man

Written by: PP on 25/09/2008 13:08:19

Chicago-based singer/songwriter Tom Fuller created a buzz in his hometown already on his debut "Chasing An Illusion", a largely balladic pop/melodic rock album, and now he has expanded the formula to much bigger soundscapes and smooth electric guitar licks on "Abstract Man", an album any pop rock fan who despises the boring mainstream rock bands should get his hands on.

Mr. Fuller himself plays simple, but warm acoustic guitar on all songs, allowing him to focus mainly on his soulful vocal delivery, the highlight of this album. His support band takes care of peaceful drumming, the occasional jazzy electric guitar stabs and other sound effects, which adds a nice, relaxed atmosphere to the music without taking the spotlight away from the vocals.

Fuller shows he can sing ultra-poppy powerpop ("Sunglass Wardrobe") equally well as solid arena rock ("Only In America"), effectively making "Abstract Man" a nicely diverse album that offers all sorts of styles for the listener. You'll find acoustic ballads in equal proportion to mainstream-ish pop rock songs and classic rock pieces. Even so, the songs can all be classified as 'soulful', meaning they are full of emotion, the characterizing trait of nearly all singer/songwriter music, the one quality that fortifies the word 'enjoyable' throughout the album. The choruses are made out of pure gold, although it often takes several repeat listens before one starts truly appreciating them. Once they open up, however, you'll find choruses that by all logic should one day be referred to as 'seminal', for so easy are they to sing along and to enjoy. Some of them have parallels to the famous Oasis ballads, mainly because of Fuller's tendency to sing in the same scratchy voice as Gallagher, while the rest you can't really associate with any particular act.

For what it's worth, "Abstract Man" offers a nice escape from either the heavy or the emo-pop oriented music world most of us live in today. The album clings to no particular genre or scene, instead focusing on great songs and intriguing lyrics. This is something all too many bands are missing these days: Tom Fuller and his band are one of the most refreshing musical experiences you'll hear all year.

Download: Only In America, Radio Man, Air That I Breathe
For the fans of: Oasis, Travis, Tom Petty
Listen: Myspace
Release date 20.05.2008
Mesa / Blue Moon / Red Cap Music

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