Album Review: Tom Misch's 'Geography'

Tom Misch has seen a huge rise in popularity over the past six months, Rory Ellis reviews 'Geography'...

Rory Ellis
30th April 2018

The words of Roy Hargrove sound out ‘You have to do it because you love it’. An appropriate start for Tom Misch’s album Geography that does not waver in its showcasing of Misch’s unique mix of jazz and electronica. This is not to say it is repetitive, in fact, the album offers something new in almost every track. Accusations of monotony fail to grasp the frictionless and easy listening that the subtly of this album generates.

‘Movie’ is likewise initiated with a sample, which are the words of his sister, Polly Misch. The dramatic nature of this short monologue, which does indeed sound ‘Fresh out a black and white movie’, is cleverly contrasted with the indifferent sounding tone of a nostalgic lover who has lost touch with his or her counterpart. Made especially affecting with the preceding track ‘South of the River’, which establishes an addictively punchy melody about the start of a relationship.

‘Tick Tock’, which is less an instrumental than it is a standout track, proves Misch’s ability to capture the experience of Apollo 11’s lift off in the sample, without the assistance of words and the simple craftsmanship of his very own sound. And just as ‘Disco Yes’ does, perhaps, edge its listeners closer to boredom, the welcomed vulnerability of ‘Man Like You’ doesn’t permit an indifference to the album. Though the songwriting is perhaps not the strongest feature of Geography, this song, if only momentarily, depicts the potency of his retrospective lyrics.

Loyle Carner, is a similarly beneficial voice on ‘Water Baby’, and again reinstates the compatibility of these two voices. Which, perhaps to the detriment of the album, eclipses the penultimate and ultimate tracks of an album which shows itself out with the finality of ‘We’ve Come So Far'.

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