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Tom Odell Shows Growth with Wrong Crowd
   2017-01-19 09:23:48    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Wang Ling



Anchor: Hello and welcome to another edition of Music+, where we explore music and more. I'm Wang Ling. On today's show, we take a listen to Wrong Crowd, the second studio album by Tom Odell. The 25-year-old English singer/songwriter is already a well-recognised name in the music business. He received his first BRIT award even before his solo debut album "Long Way Down" was released back in 2013. With his latest album, Odell experiments more with different genres and shows a whole lot more diversity this time around.

Album opener and title track, "Wrong Crowd", let you know straight away that this collection will deviate from the vibes of his debut. The single is a wonderful medley of sounds, starting off with a muted beat and a piano melody and eventually erupting into a synthy and beat-heavy tune with several vocal layers and catchy, haunting whistling.
Odell's mellow voice rises and falls like a boat on a sea of harmonies as he sings; "I wish I could find somebody that my mother would like. I wish I can find somebody, that could treat me right."

That was Wrong Crowd, the title track and lead single from Tom Odell's sophomore album. When asked about the concept and production of the new album, Odell said he wanted the songs to sound "big" and dramatic" with big strings and melodies emphasizing the songs further ĘC enriching it with musicality and holding nothing back. The album follows a narrative of a man held at ransom by his childhood, yearning for it, yearning for nature- a desire for innocence in a perverse world in which he now lives. It's a fictional story but the emotions and feelings are obviously ones that Odell has felt- though the stories are elaborated and exaggerated. The artist emphasized that he wanted to create a world with a "heightened sense of reality".
Tom said that when he wrote songs for the album, he imagined every detail in the scene. For example on "Constellations", he explained that the story begins in a crowded dive bar in what he imagined to be in Paris or Berlin; a conversation between the character and his lover. He's saying everything's bad, but it's going to be different from now on'.

That beautiful ballad is "Constellations" from Tom Odell's new album "Wrong Crowd". On this single, Tom returns to his piano roots and pulls off a beautiful falsetto.
Expectations were high for Tom Odell's career when he started out in 2012. He won the Critics Choice award at the Brits in 2013 following the success of his stunning single "Another Love". Then cemented himself in the hearts of the nation in 2014, when his cover of the Beatles' 'Real Love' was selected as the soundtrack to the John Lewis Christmas advert. His debut record "Long Way Down" received extremely mixed reactions from critics, but in the UK it reached number 1 and platinum status.

And now, the follow-up project is even more ambitious in which Odell proves himself to be a songwriter with a rare talent that makes him convincing in a great variety of styles.
'Silhouette' is a dancefloor-ready number. The track opens with a delicate strings section that transforms into a prominent drum rhythm that leads us towards a swinging chorus with hand claps and a soaring refrain with perfectly executed backing vocals.

What we just heard is 'Silhouette', fresh off Tom Odell's second studio album, "Wrong Crowd". The album has received generally positive reviews from the critics. James Monger for AllMusic stated that "Long Way Down" saw fit to present Odell as a "wrecked, golden-throated, yet ultimately Gollum-like balladeer, a man who had dug a hole so deep and dark that even the boldest speck of light would flee in terror". He continues to say that "Wrong Crowd" is a far more sprightly affair that not only takes smart stylistic detours, it often treats malaise with a wink instead of a sigh. Joe Muggs for the Arts Desk said in his review, "it's all delivered with professionalism, extreme sincerity, and no fancy frills whatsoever".

What makes this album truly successful is that Odell remains true to his own authentic style -- the piano-driven ballads that showcase his unique voice. Though lyrically he seems to be confined to the well-worn tropes of heartbreak and lost love, an approach that seems to be working for Odell, is when he gets more metaphorical rather than spelling out the situation. "Sparrow" is one such track, where he addresses a sparrow and wonders, "Tell me why you'd walk if you knew you could fly."

The song we just heard is "Sparrow" from Tom Odell's latest release, "Wrong Crowd". This experimental album showcases a great number of alternate sides to the pianist, and shows growth, versatility and progression.
"Magnetised" is one such sonic departure for the singer-songwriter. This stomping, euphoric pop whirlwind is quite unlike anything we've heard from the artist before.
With that, we come to the end of this edition of Music+. To revisit our show, log on to our website, Newsplusradio.cn. You can also check the latest releases and tour information on our weibo page; weibo.com/crimusicplus. Finally, you can also email us at crimusicplus@qq.com.
Your suggestions and questions are always welcome.
This is Wang Ling saying goodbye from Beijing; hope you can join me again same time next week.


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