This album is a perfect example of just exactly why we do this.
As music journalists there is nothing more rewarding than finding
something that turns your head immediately, perking your ears
and sticking with you through the day, the week, the month. The
first time I popped in Chris And Thomas' debut Land
Of Sea I was immediately entranced by the mellow acoustic
soulfulness that permeated the tracks. It was as if the death
of Nick Drake had never happened and here was a new record
from the man himself
but changed somehow. Perhaps Paul
Simon had come by the studio to help him flesh out a couple
of songs, thickening the sad beauty of the tunes without overemphasizing
the darkness. The second time I listened to the CD I was impressed
with the oblique verbiage used by the songwriters and the subtle,
folky Americana sounds that are used to carry the overwhelmingly
melancholy beauty of these songs. But, like great slow Americana
purveyors Mojave 3, Chris And Thomas really lay it down
when the steel guitar comes out and the vocal harmonies step into
the proving territories. Check out "Time To Find Out"
or "Dreaming Of Relief" for a real taste of this duo
showing their true genius and fleshing out the simplest of passages
with their extraordinarily earthy vocal talent. Or really get
caught up in the opening track "Land Of Sea", a track
which has all the haunting melancholia of Sam Beam's best
songs coupled with some light mandolins and clomping percussion.
I don't know where Chris And Thomas have been all my life, but
I've found them now, and I believe that I'll never be the same.
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