Album Review: What A Time To Be Alive – Tom Walker

Tom Walker – What A Time To Be Alive

Words: Gary Lambert

This is a bittersweet review for all of us at Popped Music. This is the moment that we have to admit that Tom Walker, one of our blog favourites, is definitely not one of our little favourites, but instead he is on course to become some kind of global behemoth of a pop star releasing songs that will be played at births, weddings, funerals, and every televised event in between. It was always coming for him. Watching him take crowds at small stages and in tiny rooms for a ride on the magic carpet of his voice, it was inevitable that such a talent would be given the chance to make his way into the hearts and homes of music lovers all over the world. What A Time To Be Alive is without doubt the best possible way to do this.

What is the reason for Tom Walker’s success? Well it is all down to the quality of his voice. It is a supreme instrument of his craft which seems to exist smack in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. If I did not know Tom Walker then from listening to him, I would say that he is possibly black, possibly white, possibly American, possibly British. Leave A Light On, which averages something like half a million Spotify streams per day, is a tune which has been sculpted to make life seem cinematic. Seriously! Walk to the shops listening to it and it will make you feel like you’re walking over a bridge across the Thames in heartbroken moral victory in the pouring rain.

In Blessings, we have a magnificent songwriter at work. How someone can mix the serious “counting our blessings ‘cause we got friends to lean on” with the smirking “‘cause our lives ain’t like a movie or a Katy Perry song” without diminishing the emotion or the humour is unbelievable. In the wrong hands, at the wrong beat, or with the wrong pause in the song then it would be ruined. Instead, a standout track in an album full of crackers is created.

Even when Tom Walker works with an out-and-out global pop star in Zara Larsson on Now You’re Gone, it sounds like they have been working together for years. I’m sure there will be more than a few DJs this summer looking at putting their own spin on this track too. There’s such potential for this to become a thumping banger of a track rather than this chilled out piece of pop bliss.

We are all going to have to be ready to give up Tom Walker to the masses. This album is going to send Tom Walker on the way to Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, future Super Bowl half time show type territory. Just remember he was ours before he became theirs.

 

Make sure your ears think What A Time To Be Alive here

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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