Don’t listen to NME, Tom.

Today I was a bit down in the dumps.

This wasn’t for any particular reason – nothing tragic has happened – but I just really needed cheering up. Those who know me tend to recognise me as the ‘mad happy, smiley person’, but today I was not really feeling my usual smiley self. I needed someone or something to make this mad smile come back.

So in an attempt to brighten my mood, I decided to sit in my garden this evening, listen to my iPod, and write. At Uni, evenings can be mad but while I’m at home, they are the most peaceful time of the day.

I was having one of those days when I just needed to zone out and forget about all the stupid stresses and worries that are going round my head at the moment – they are things which seem so silly but that doesn’t stop you thinking about them. Acknowledging the pettiness of your problems doesn’t make them go away or make you feel any better.

It’s the end of the day and everyone is tired. The air is cool in the garden and the sun is starting to set. The birds are chirping away like they always are – I’m often convinced they’re having some form of domestic dispute because they can make such a racket, far more than is considered normal. Or maybe some kind of singing practice is occurring. Who knows? They’re birds for crying out loud. I’m going off the subject.

NME posted a review the other day about an artist who is fast becoming one of my new favourites. His name is Tom Odell. He’s a friend of my friend’s girlfriend, he has blonde floppy hair and a voice so beautifully powerful that he could sing you Ba Ba Black Sheep and convince you that it’s the most sublime piece of music ever heard by human ears.

Sadly that’s only my opinion, and suffice to say I don’t think NME’s Mark Beaumont would agree with me.

I say this because Beaumont gave Tom a grand total of 0/10 in his review of the long-awaited debut album Long Way Down, which was released yesterday. He said it was too dull. Too mainstream. Too boring.

And when I read this review, it made me feel a little bit sad. I’ve been a fan of Tom’s since Christmas, when it was announced that he had been shortlisted as a nominee for the Brits Critics Choice Awards for 2013. Like many others, I’ve been eagerly anticipating his album for months.

So to read such a painfully negative review from the so-called music oracle definitely put me on a bit of a downer. Was it really that bad?

Well, in a word – no. Not really. Not even a little bit. Did Beaumont receive the correct copy of this album? Has Tom checked? I think he should.

To put it into a simple sentence – Long Way Down is absolutely beautiful. I adore absolutely every song and for me that’s a very rare occurrence.

Tom has added a blend of ballads including ‘Sense’, ‘Heal’, ‘Stay Tonight’ and ‘Grow Old With Me’, as well as the more upbeat ‘I Know’, ‘Hold Me’ and ‘Sirens’. Regardless of tempo or style, each and every song has a unique element of mellowness and serenity which is breathtaking, and just what I needed this evening to feel good again.

And now as I sit here on the bench in my garden jotting down these thoughts on a pad of paper, listening to Tom’s album, I think I can finally say I’m Happy Nats again.

Much better.

Nats. X


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