Helloooo Tom Abbott and his fresh collage rock sound coming fresh out of Boston! At just twenty-one years young, Abbott is rather productive. Puppet Boy is his second full length album that he has produced. Now when I say "full length" I mean it. Puppet Boy is a full bodied fourteen tracks long. He explores all regions of genres like indie, punk, math and pop rock. He is also currently studying at The New England Conservatory there in Bean Town. He's a beast of productivity and follow through. Does it make me feel like lazy garbage? A bit, but I don't take it personally. He's 21 and probably still possesses the metabolism of a god. Youth is not wasted on this youngster and that's a good thing.
Musically you are getting A LOT. As I said, this is collage rock, a lot of moving pieces here. The setting can change at the snap of a finger. You could be in your parent's garage howling at adolescence or sitting around a campfire among friends under the stars. He's a bit of an erratic painter, and I am okay with it, mainly because it is all executed so well. Abbott is an accomplished guitarist who has been playing for half of his life. You can tell his studies are paying off. His guitar skills project thorough knowledge in several genres. I also recommend keeping an ear out for the key work on here, it's beautiful.
I think what has me intrigued most is how Abbot may be 21, but I'll be damned if his lyrics don't project the life lessons of someone far older. He is very open and vulnerable with the personal touches in his narratives. The first thing I noticed on this album was the lyrics. He comes off as a natural wordsmith. He has range in his writing ability although he tends to lean on conversational, introspective dialogues. If I were to have a hang up, it might be that he should consider invoking a little editing. There are times where there is so much narrative packed in, certain songs didn't have the proper room to breathe. However, even when it was a lot to take in, it was a fascinating listen.
One thing that ties all these different moods, atmospheres and temperatures is Abbott's vocal work. He has a signature sound to his performance that is modern and steadfast. I feel he understands the strength of his voice and plays to it. This was a good decision in my book. There definitely needed to be a strong fiber pulling it all together.
As for production, there were a lot of strong, solid choices made. At times things did get overstimulating and the layers were a bit too fanned out which made it hard to digest any of them. However it is easy to tell that this was a professional studio album. The album was in the hands of Dimension Sound Studios.
Long story short, give Abbott a little bit of your time and I have a feeling he'll end up taking a whole lot more.
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