Cyclic Defrost

An Australian magazine focusing on interesting music

Tom Brosseau – Cavalier (Fat Cat/Inertia)

North America’s Tom Brosseau sings in a lean, boyish voice.  About everyday things; nothing too intense, really… rivers, roads, that sort of thing.  Backed by thin arrangements (primarily a steel-stringed acoustic guitar, with a splash of piano here or there), that’s Cavalier pretty well summed up – folk music in the classic sense.  Music by common people for common people, in a style common people can relate to.    If that doesn’t sound exciting to you, perhaps that’s because it isn’t: it’s reliable.  I can’t find anything wrong with this record as such.  It might make for a passable accompaniment to a quiet dinner, for example, or a reflective stroll along the beach (in soft focus) with your iPod.  Brosseau’s somewhat identifiable voice will add value for the authenticity set, and the sparse instrumentation hints at the craft of an earnest troubadour.  I guess the thing is… there’s nothing exciting going on here, so there’s not much to set Cavalier apart from the vast ocean of acoustic/folk music produced every year in bedrooms (and log cabins) around the world.  In Brosseau’s case, previous outings have shown that there’s more to be gained by a considered approach to orchestration.  (…Perhaps a few more interesting chord progressions wouldn’t go astray, either.)  And so it happens that this isn’t a bad record, but it’s not necessarily good, and it if were a missile, you might fail to see it on radar – and even when it finally hit you on the head, it mightn’t exactly blow up.  

Jon Tjhia 

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  • Denny Lewis

    Umm…where to begin? I hate to have to say it this review sucks. It just sucks, and please if you’re going to write reviews spell check. C’mon! Either say Tom Brosseau’s good, or bad, but back it up. If his record is just another folk record to you get another fucking job! Don’t waste time! Don’t waste ink! I own the record, Cavalier. Do I like it? Yes. I take offense to the section “roads, rivers and that sort of thing”. The problem with some reviewers today is they have no knowledge about the roots. What do you know reviewer? Do you know it all? I bet. You know it all so much you are tired, you’re bored, you’ve seen it all/ done it all/ lived it all. Well it’s too bad. The only thing you’ve done is bore, tire, and mislead. This review simply sucks! They should hire fresher writers.

  • Jon Tjhia

    :-(

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Cyclic Defrost is Australia’s only specialist electronic music magazine. We cover independent electronic music, avant-rock, experimental sound art and leftfield hip hop. Read more

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