J. Tomic’s New Offering: Rainbow Beach
Here’s my review.
As you listen to ‘Drive’, the first track on J. Tomic’s new extended play, you’re left wondering: what is the guy trying to achieve? The song has a nice bass and heavy beat, but a beat and bass don’t make the entire song. Which drives me to the point that: it’s that one small instrument that comes and puts a smile on your face when it’s added to the beat and the bass.
But the lovely element that J. Tomic adds to the beat and bass – that element that makes the track enjoyable and fun – is soon taken away by the musician as he introduces other elements and sounds. This is understandable to music practitioners, but as a music consumer, or lover, you’re left wondering: why take away that element we love? I mean, why do producers love adding elements to songs we think are already complete?
‘Time Savoured’ is the second track on the album. Interesting title. Is the musician gonna take their time on this one, you wonder. It’s a different track, considering that J. Tomic takes time to build it up, unlike in ‘Drive’, where the track, beat and drum kick in from the first second. Here, J. Tomic plays with the piano, which is interesting to listen to, but the flop is that the beat and bass are too heavy, with all they manage to do is drown the piano that’s supposed to be the drawcard to the song. The only time you hear the piano is when J. Tomic cuts the beat and bass, and this is after like one minute until the end (with two minutes of just the piano playing, which, I guess, speaks to the time savoured-ness of the song title).
‘Rainbow Beach’, which is the title track, coming at number three, sees a male lover stranded on rainbow beach, whatever that is. The song starts rather quickly with a low beat, and for the first time, vocals are introduced, which is amazing, since J. Tomic considers himself an instrumentalist. The male voice doing the singing is not a smooth singer by any chance.
‘Love so perfect, love so pure’, he sings. ‘With you, there’s nothing I can’t endure; you love me and I love you more’.
Of course some of the words, if not most of them, are inaudible. You can say the singer’s voice, or vocal abilities, do not allow them to eloquently articulate their words, but if you let that flaw (if it is a flaw) distract you, you’ll miss the beautiful story they’re trying to tell. Not only that, but the rhyming scheme is impressive. So, if the singing is not that solid, at least the rhyming ability and storytelling make up for that.
The lover, who profusely pleads their love, begs not to be left stranded on rainbow beach and you kinda feel sorry for them. Storywise, this gets confusing as another line sees the pleading lover begging their lover not to leave them behind the door. Also, you have to ask yourself: how can the love be perfect and pure, as the male lover sings, whereas they spend their entire time begging not to be ditched?
Track number four – ‘Unknowns’ – has a bland and uninviting title. (Reminds me of the poem, ‘The Unknown Citizen’ by W.H. Auden, if you want us to go there). No vocals, and no tinkering with the instruments, there’s a rave feeling to the song. Here, J. Tomic means business. As if to say, ‘You’re here for electronic dance music, and this is what I’m giving you!’
‘Phased’ is a beautiful upbeat song; the kinda song that draws my attention from whatever I’m doing; the kinda song that makes me wanna dance. Although not that too dissimilar with ‘Unknowns’, the song has more soul and creativity to it.
You get the feeling that the songs get better when you move up the album. ‘E.L.I’, which is the sixth track off the album, is promising but it gets bogged down by a little bit of overdoing. Then you’re left thinking: do the songs actually get better as you get to the end of the album? Probably not, and this shouldn’t be a bad thing. I don’t believe songs are created in the way they’re ordered on the album (track number two isn’t necessarily better than track number one, if you get my drift!).
Track number seven (‘Brain Rattled’), is a big room house track, in where you get the bass, beat and what I call the ‘locust sound’ – the bass at times making you feel like it’s gonna tear your speaker! The locust sound is playful and can put you in a good if you’re not careful!
My verdict? Dance music shouldn’t be analysed too much. Let’s just dance to it!