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Music Review: Rob Thompson – Dust

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Today I fell in love with Rob Thompson. Perhaps it’s best that I explain. The singer / songwriter from Swansea in South Wales has delivered a beautiful album, Dust, which is crammed full of emotion and enough superbly crafted songs to leave you desperately seeking more.

The good news is we won’t have to wait too long as Rob is a founder member of The Storys who also have a new album out, Luck, which will be reviewed here on Eurorock shortly.

The band, formed in 2003, produce a smooth concoction of 70s west coast flavoured songs rich with infectious melodies and hooks. Sir Elton John was so impressed that he invited them along as special guests on his European tour. Further support slots followed with Van Morrison, Santana, and Susanne Vega.

Awash with talent, The Storys boast four singer songwriters, including Rob. With such an abundance of talent at their disposal, it is little wonder that he has decided to release this debut solo album as an outlet for his own creativity.

Even if you’ve missed The Storys (so far at least) you may still have heard his music. It features in the American drama One Tree Hill as well as in the film The Bank Job, which stars Jason Statham. Rob even briefly appears in the film as well.

Dust opens with the smooth as silk title track which successfully seduced me to stay in his company. I’m more than glad I did. Despite proving to be a hard track to move on from, it successfully sets the scene for what is to follow. This is an album rich with a sublime beauty and is crammed full of songs that are so well crafted you could sell them at Sotheby’s.

“Could You Come Around?” is as fresh as a spring morning breeze. Infectious, and joyous, its chorus lives long after the music fades. “It All Makes Sense In The End” suddenly bursts out into an anthem. It leads nicely to “I Can’t Tune In,” another example of songwriting craft as it was meant to be.

Next comes the magnificent “The Director’s Cut.” This is a track that is so heavily laden with emotion that it cuts like a knife. Building into a dramatically soaring finale, it confirms exactly why Sir Elton was so impressed. It’s dramatic, painful, and yet oddly uplifting. “I dream a film of your life, but I change the ending” sings Rob with a tangible gulp of emotion.

“Standing Still” has the unenviable task of following it but does so with a subtle strength of its own. “Watching How All The Dust’s Drawn To The TV” is full of a drama that is slightly reminiscent of, let’s say, Barclay James Harvest at their height of their powers.

The album closes appropriately with “The Ending Credits,” which again has Rob exploring his fascination of life as film. The bonus track, a radio edit of Dust, ensures you press “play” quickly again.

Excellent songwriting and heart-rending lyrics are both expertly delivered on this quality album. For once Dust is well worth collecting.

Dust is available on Angel Air Records. Please visit Rob Thompson’s own MySpace page and the official website of The Storys.


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About Jeff Perkins