It's 2AM, I'm buzzed and I haven't written any meaningful album review in 6 months. This is gonna be fun.
Then I hit the first track off Tom Misch's Geography and then this starts pouring into my ear:
"You have to do this because you love it and it doesn't matter if you're broke - you still gonna do it; I mean I go out to jam sessions and I play regardless of whether I'm getting a cheque or not....you have to love this thing, man. You have to love it. And breathe it. It's your morning coffee. Your food. That's why you become an artist. Art is a mirror of society."
This made me smile and sad and also proud and happy and inspired. This could be applied to so many things in life. This could be applied to what I'm doing right now. Kicking off with such feeling is an insanely awesome album experience... and then Tom's soulful groove kicks in. That kick at 00:59 at "Before Paris" - simply superb.
We've been following his music since 2014 and even had a pleasure to interview him with Carmody at some stage, but surprisingly (to some), Geography is Tom's first full length album (full Spotify stream below).
The 13 tracks record is a multi-layered blend of soul, jazz, hip hop, disco, bossa nova and r&b and all of that is wrapped in a light, sexy/funny and extremely groovy vibe. I guess it's a journey through Tom's complex inner sound world and inspirations. Take tracks like GoldLink's laid back collab "Lost In Paris" and "Disco Yes" (featuring Poppy Ajudha) - same same, but different, but quite different. But awesome.
Speaking of individual tracks on Geography, I must admit - after listening to the album a few times, my heart is still somewhere in between the chords of "Water Baby" featuring Loyle Carner.
For those looking for that romantic element in life, then "Movie" is clearly going to be a winner. It feels like the kind of track one would have his first prom/wedding dance with that special someone. Or just a song to play after a shitty, stressful day in the real world. Make your pick.
At the end of the day, the more I listen to the record, the more I perceive it as a feel-good album. There's something uplifting even in those soothing /mellow tracks ("Man Like You" or "You're On My Mind"). And of course there are a few no brainers like the bossa nova-fused De La Soul collab "It Runs Through Me" and "Cos I Love You". Easily late bar pre-weekend mood setters!
While (as said before) this is the first full length Tom Misch album, Geography is far from enough to explore the talent(s) of Tom Misch. I guess in a way I understand why he was refraining from releasing an album up until now, this sounds perfectly bundled together. Now? Play the record and submerge into the grooviness of mr. Misch.