Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
5 to 1 odds you'd love this album
Randall G. Arnold | North Texas | 08/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As far as I know this is Tom's first released effort. I scrambled to grab the CD when it first came out after seeing the soul-stirring video on VH1 for "That's Freedom". I remember being transfixed by the obviously-sincere emotional outpouring of Tom's sugar-coated sandpaper vocals on that number. In an era when "glam rock" was taking over, it was refreshing to discover a new artist who dared defy the trends and present something more meaningful.I can't call this his best work (I reserve that for the followup, "Circle Back Home") but there are some real stand-outs on this CD in addition to the truly patriotic "That's Freedom". "Shake" is a valiant anthem to dance, a rocker that ebbs and flows like a whirling gypsy. "A to Z" is the obligatory love ballad that strives to cover the broadest of emotions. "True Love" is a bold, joyful number that'll rattle your rib cage and shake your heart loose. You might have heard the moving ballad "Heroes"; this paen to those who drive and inspire us to better ourselves has been recorded by others, including Southern Pacific. It's one of my personal favorites on the album. "Violet Eyes" is a true gem. I'm at a loss to describe what this powerful number evokes. You really have to hear it. Finally, the title cut is a sobering look at returning home after an extended leave, and discovering rust devouring the shiny things you'd thought were permanently chrome-plated. The lines come to my mind quite often as I enter my 40s:"Well, I took a little trip to the old side of town
"I went to see if things had maybe changed somehow
"'cause everyone is sayin' how a change is due
"I guess I went to see if I'm changin' too..."The weaker cuts are those I haven't mentioned yet. "Tryin' to Dance" isn't bad; it just doesn't grab me like the others. "On the Defensive" comes across as if Tom had written from personal experience and neglected to self-edit. It should have been reworked or dropped in my opinion. Finally, I get where he's going with the neoLuddite "No Tech", a rebellion against the robotic polyphony that pervaded so many recordings in the 1980s, but it's a filler song. The good news is, Tom's throwaways are better than many artist's keepers so that's something to keep in perspective.Overall, I give it an A-. If you're lucky enough to find it, buy it. Same goes for his other recordings. If you like Springsteen, Mellencamp, Seger and others who delve into the heart of Americana, you'll love anything by Tom Kimmel."