Album Review: Tom Grennan - Evering Road

Lily Holbrook reviews the second full-length offering from acclaimed pop singer Tom Grennan.

Lily Holbrook
15th March 2021
Instantly catchy and fizzing with all the things he needs to get off his chest, Tom Grennan's highly anticipated sophomore album is his most revealing yet. Arriving 3 years after his debut Lighting Matches, Evering Road is, in his own words, an honest reflection on 'love, heartbreak and redemption.'

Driven by unmistakable forces of passion and power, Grennan wears his heart on his sleeve as he takes a literal and metaphorical walk down memory lane. Aside from the fun-loving persona evident from social media, the conviction with which he sings is indicative of something much deeper.

Revealing more and more as the record unfolds, the album hints boldly at the singer's personal experience of trauma. Addressing themes of toxic masculinity, heartbreak and mental turmoil, it's undeniable that the whole album is centred on the story of Tom Grennan. Clearly processing a lot of pain as he reflects on mistakes made in a past relationship on East London's Evering Road, the singer isn't afraid to embrace his own vulnerability.

Unforgettable and uplifting, the record's powerful first track 'If Only,' sets an explosive scene for Grennan's journey of musical self-discovery. On first listen, I was instantly taken in by the opening track, but felt less inspired by slower songs 'Make My Mind Up' and 'Love Has Different Ways to Say Goodbye,' both of which are among Grennan's self-confessed favourites. However, after coming back with a different perspective, I soon realised that the record's mix of singalong anthems and heartfelt ballads provide a song for every mood.

Making no secret of his admiration for the late soul singer in the past, 'Love Has Different Ways to Say Goodbye' has an undeniable Amy Winehouse influence, while the album's original single, 'This Is The Place,' stands out as a breath of fresh air, telling an emotional story that invites us to find our own safe space to think.

Rounding off with 'Long Live You and I,' the final track on the record is a perfect summer tune, made for sunny nights with friends and offering a sweet glimmer of hope for future freedom. Fusing the melody of 'Never Be Alone' by Shawn Mendes and an energy reminiscent of Avicii's nostalgic summer anthems, the familiarity of this track had a place in my heart before the end of the first play.

He picks up the pieces of a past relationship and puts them together to create an empowering piece of work that documents his rise from the flames.

Despite borrowing tried and tested melodies to create songs for the masses, Grennan's beautifully rugged voice is unmistakably his own. Across 14 killer tracks, he picks up the pieces of a past relationship and puts them together to create an empowering piece of work that documents his rise from the flames.

Delivered with an infectious energy guaranteed to make you smile, Grennan takes the driver's seat as he guides the listener through his experience of life on Evering Road. Coinciding with plans for his UK tour later this year, I have no doubt that this album will be a soundtrack to life beyond lockdown, fresh starts and better things.

If Lighting Matches is the album that ignited Grennan's flame to success, Evering Road is the one that kept it burning…and this latest offering is certainly one fire that is destined to spread.

(4/5)

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AUTHOR: Lily Holbrook
MA Media & Journalism student at Newcastle University and science sub-editor for the 20/21 academic year.

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