Album: Sandi Thom <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Smile... It Confuses People, VIKING LEGACY/RCA
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The Independent Culture

There is a certain irony in the way Sandi Thom used the internet - in effect, the home of her own generation's youth community - to bemoan the lack of a decent youth scene to rival those of the hippies and punks; one suspects she realises the circumstances may be intimately connected, that people have begun to prefer virtual friendship to the real, corporeal thing. "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (with Flowers in My Hair)" is like "American Pie" turned on its head, with that earlier anthem's celebration of the expansion of rock'n'roll youth culture replaced by a desire for its contraction, back to a time "when the head of state didn't play guitar". It's a catchy enough piece, and original enough to merit its success, but hardly enough to carry an entire album, even one as short as this. Thom's narrow mode of vocal delivery isn't helped by a similar reliance on the same style of percussion in too many songs, nor by her penchant for nostalgia, which drives not just the single but also "Sunset Borderline", "When Horsepower Meant What It Said" and the twee "Time". It's pleasant enough in parts, sort of K. T. Tunstall lite. Which is very lite indeed.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (with Flowers in My Hair)', 'What If I'm Right', 'When Horsepower Meant What It Said'

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