Search - Tom Verlaine :: Wonder

Tom Verlaine
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Originally Recorded in 1989 - 1990.


CD Details

All Artists: Tom Verlaine
Title: Wonder
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Lemon Records UK
Original Release Date: 1/1/1990
Re-Release Date: 10/14/2003
Album Type: Original recording remastered, Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Vocal Pop, Rock Guitarists
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 5013929760721, 042284242028


Album Details
Originally Recorded in 1989 - 1990.

CD Reviews

`Wonder` indeed
lowell duluth | Manchester, UK | 07/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is TV at his gorgeous best. How this man has been so relatively ignored when far lesser talents make it big boggles the mind.
This beautiful album is so good I simply urge anyone who loves great contemporary music - beyond `rock` and miles beyond `punk`, believe me - to buy it.
Catch his marvellous Words From the Front and Flashlight, and you`ll have a trio of glorious albums by Mr Underrated in your collection.
I love this man."
Love songs from one of the greatest guitarists in history
Alexander F. Remington | Washington, DC USA | 12/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Tom Verlaine has always been a great songwriter, and Television's debut Marquee Moon stands as one of the greatest guitar records ever. The band dissolved after just two albums, however, and once Verlaine embarked upon a solo career he began to make subtle changes to his sound. His solo style tended away from punk accusations and more towards ballads, a trend that started with "Days" on Television's second album, Adventure. And he began to write love songs.

On his fourth solo album, Cover, synthesizers began to take a more dominant role. Not in an obnoxious way, like former New York Doll David Johansen's appalling Sweet Revenge, but not subtly either. It was a definite change in sound, and though his songs were definitely still guitar-driven, the sound was fuller and less stark than it had been on Marquee Moon, or his first two solo albums, self-titled and Dreamtime. It was a striking change, but though Cover was one of his best albums, his cult of listeners was so tiny that hardly anyone noticed.

The Wonder is in a similar sonic mold, a synthesizer-backed set that succeeds on the quality of the guitar work and just how damned lovely the songs are. "Ancient Egypt," which nonsensically evokes the distant time and place of the title, is among the best; so are the thematically similar "5 Hours from Calais" and the transcendant album-closer "Prayer." In sharp contrast to the stark, punchy guitar-bass-drums of Marquee Moon, the tough riffs of his first three solo albums, and the lean driving chicka-chicka of the following year's self-titled Television reunion album, this album is remarkably warm, with a sound to match the burgundy red of the cover.

However, the album is far from perfect. The drumming throughout tends to be a repetitive dull thud, to the extent that drummer Jay Dee Daugherty might well have been replaced by a drum machine--or the one-armed guy from Def Leppard--and you wouldn't have been able to tell the difference. Also, after all these years, Verlaine's nasal whine of a voice has never been his strong suit, and while it is evocative it is hardly lovely. The quality of the songs themselves overcome the album's shortcomings, but the album is not the best place to start for the uninitiated.

For people who have never heard either Tom Verlaine's solo work or the band Television, the place to start is Television's debut, Marquee Moon. The follow-up Adventure and 1992 reunion Television are excellent though less essential. The best place to start on Verlaine's solo career is his debut, Tom Verlaine. After that, opinions vary: I would recommend Cover, Dreamtime, this album, his new album Songs and Other Things, Words from the Front, Flash Light, and finally his instrumental albums Warm and Cool and Around, in that order. Like many semi-obscure rock greats from Robyn Hitchcock to Nick Drake, Verlaine tends to inspire a passionate following, and after one or two albums it's not hard to fall for them all. The Wonder is an excellent entry in the catalogue for a fine songwriter and remarkable guitarist whose long career, spanning four decades, has achieved respect far beyond whatever pop success he has failed to garner. It's well worth picking up."
Beautiful, subtle, original
ChesterM | NYC | 05/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yes we all know Tom Verlaine's masterpiece is and forever will be Television's Marquee Moon, but the notion that his solo work (or the rest of Television's output)is no more than a footnote to that original magnum opus is a tired (and inaccurate) cliche peddled far too often.

Verlaine has released eight or nine solo albums, and this is one of my favorites. It showcases his dreamier side -- far more than "Dreamtime," another great solo outing -- and has some of his loveliest lyrics and melodies. For those who value Verlaine primarily as a lead guitarist, it also boasts one of his most amazing, razzle-dazzle solos ever, on "Ancient Egypt." (It's also a great rock 'n' roll song.)

Like much of Verlaine's work, it appeals to certain tastes. It also grows on you. You can play it endlessly for a month, finally put it away, and then a couple of years later pull it out and start all over again. This is a pensive, subtle, beautifully played and wonderful record. Like most of his work, it's hard to find, and it's a keeper."