A Breath of Fresh Air
There’s something instantly likeable about singer-songwriter Sandi Thom. Her debut album, â€šÃ„ÃºSmile…It Confuses People,â€šÃ„Ã¹ is big on personality. It’s quirky, energetic and soulful.Thom gained fame web-casting her three week â€šÃ„Ãºworld tourâ€šÃ„Ã¹ without leaving her South London basement, putting the word out via MySpace and her website. She started with a handful of listeners and ended with enough to fill a stadium. Never mind that her biggest hit, â€šÃ„ÃºI Wish I Was a Punk Rocker,â€šÃ„Ã¹ longs for a time when â€šÃ„Ãºcomputers were still scary.â€šÃ„Ã¹ The upbeat track, like Thom herself, sounds youthful, but is mature and critical as she sings, â€šÃ„ÃºI was born too late and to a world that doesn’t care.â€šÃ„Ã¹ She’s difficult to define; lighthearted but not frivolous.
Her vocal arrangements make many tracks sound fresh. The best example is the lively, country-flavored opener, â€šÃ„ÃºWhen Horsepower Meant What It Said.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Thom claps her hands and is unafraid to hit the high notes. It’s fun but the lyrics are weighty. She sings about the downside of progress, asking, â€šÃ„ÃºWhy am I still standing still?â€šÃ„Ã¹
The ballads are not as unique, but they illustrate how lovely Thom’s voice is. The standout is â€šÃ„ÃºSuperman,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a song about the trappings and loneliness of fame; Thom pleads, â€šÃ„ÃºDon’t want Superman/I don’t need wonderland/just want you to love me.â€šÃ„Ã¹ It’s simple, elegant and moving.
Not every song is monumental, but there are enough great tracks to make â€šÃ„ÃºSmileâ€šÃ„Â¶It Confuses Peopleâ€šÃ„Ã¹ . worthwhile. Sandi Thom possesses an inherent charisma that permeates her music. Her future looks promising. Can’t wait to see what she does next.