Tom Odell's Long Way Down is stuffed with bogus sensitivity

(ITNO / Columbia)

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The Independent Culture

The first male artist to win the Brits Critics’ Choice Award, Tom Odell traffics in a form of earnest piano pop that will appeal to fans of Keane and Coldplay, but which shows few indications  of ambition beyond emulating their style and success.

Long  Way Down is stuffed with bogus sensitivity, crystallisations of emotional disquiet couched in chant choruses, and polite piano arrangements reliant on a few chord-changes. At their most imposing, there’s a brooding quality to songs such as “Can’t Pretend” and “Grow Old with Me” – whose theme, fidelity, is his most appealing lyric – though elsewhere an excess of distraught wailing overburdens songs notable mainly for the slightness of their romantic intent.

Download: Grow Old with Me; Can’t Pretend