Tomlinson to my limited knowledge is a one-man recording project. On his recent release Square Atmosphere he displays the diversity he has as an artist. Square Atmosphere feels like a collection of singles that are supposed to give us a taste of what Tomlinson offers. The music at its heart revolves around guitar and drums but Tomlinson choses to jump around stylistically throughout the five songs.
He opens with “Killin' Myself” which is a heavy dose of blues rock. The songs has a bit of ZZ Top and White Stripes influence as well as a couple of other bigger names you could list off. It’s fairly straightforward and doesn’t have any surprises but it's well delivered. Tomlinson immediately establishes he is a really good guitar player. The second song “3AM Drive” shifts gears in vibe. It’s a melodic song that has gorgeous guitar picking. There are still some elements of the blues but just not with the intensity of the first song. The vibe is chill and mellow as if you just had a glass of wine.
“Square Atmosphere” has a jazzy, ambient flavor that worked very nice together. This was my personal favorite although I thought his vocals could have been a bit more prevalent in the mix. The ending contained some more guitar action that further solidified Tomlinson’s ability on the instrument.
“The Sea” is also a success arguably even more so than “Square Atmosphere.” Between the intersecting vocal harmonies and bass work I was digging what I was hearing. The closing track “Strictly” was live and left some things to be desired from the recording but was an enjoyable, minimal song.
Square Atmosphere feels a bit uneven and some of Tomlinson’s ideas could have been fleshed out more but this is a solid start. It’s obvious that he has a passion for the blues and jazz but still seems to be a work in progress as how to make it feel uniquely his own. Tomlinson is one to keep your eye on. He unequivocally has talent and with some tweaking and better production could be well on his way.
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