WINNER of the BRITS’ critics choice award earlier this year, Tom Odell now has a number one album to add to his list of achievements at the unfeasibly young age of 22.
He certainly sounds like a young man with a huge future ahead of him.
He’s clever enough to keep Long Way Down a tight affair (it clocks in at fewer than 40 minutes), make sure none of its 10 tracks outstays its welcome and keep the whole affair radio and TV friendly enough to ensure you won’t be able to escape his music this summer even if you wanted to.
What he hasn’t done, however, is forge his own style or make any of those songs remarkable in any way other than their ability to stick in the brain, which is no recommendation.
Despite Odell insisting that he grew up “listening to Elton John” and citing David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and co as influences, it’s much easier to hear the likes of Emeli Sandé, Coldplay, Mumford and Sons, and Snow Patrol all over Long Way Down.
Barring the odd honourable exception, though, first albums are rarely classics and there’s enough here to suggest he may be worth sticking with.