CD Review: Tom Levin “Them Feet”

Posted: May 9, 2014 in Music
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Tom Levin is a Sweden-born musician who has spent time creating music. Whether in a band or by himself, Levin has created several albums of music. Levin has just recently created a new album called Them Feet. For the new release, Levin called upon several people who helped to flesh out the music on the release. Along with Levin, other people included in the album are Adam Börjesson, who adds vocals, guitar, mandolin, bass, keyboards and percussion; Kalle Persson, who adds vocals, and percussion; Carl Ekerstam: electric guitar and pedal steel and others.

Them Feet from Tom Levin begins with the album’s title track. “Them Feet” is a track that features a strong groove that contains a lot of Blues flavor that goes along with a lot of Folk feeling. While Levin comes from Sweden, the two musical genres come together to form a sound that has a very American feel to it. For that reason and others, Tom Levin can easily be classified as Americana. This is one track that definitely falls into that category. With the strong groove and the Folk/Blues mixture coming together creates a strange but fascinating musical backdrop for what ultimately ends up being a romantic song about a man who will always want to dance with his lover.

While the track “Them Feet” has a simple Blues/Folk feel to it, the track “I Raise My Flag” contains a feel that is a lot more connected with the modern-day music genres. The track feels more like something that would be found on Top 40 Rock radio formats. The lyrics to the track are from the point of view of someone who has found their voice and is ready to stand up and be counted. The song can easily be considered a personal anthem, of sorts.

Staying in a slightly political vein, the track “As Long As it’s Good” seems to fully bleed Folk-Rock in its musical makeup. On the song, Tom Levin seems to channel Canadian musician Bruce Cockburn; in fact, “As Long As it’s Good” seems to bring to mind the sound and mindset of Cockburn’s track “If I Had a Rocket Launcher”. While Cockburn makes no bones about his anger about the situation he sings about, Levin sings about trying to make the world better. And while the two tracks come from different points of view, the two musicians try as hard as they can to get their points across. To that end, “As long As it’s Good” is as much an anthem of today’s world as Cockburn’s song was of that era.

With the track “Company Man,” Tom Levin creates a track that is one of the more unusual songs on his Them Feet album. The track features a rather strong beat from percussionist Kalle Persson while also containing a painfully slow pace to the music. That pace stays with the song throughout the length although the energy of the music does pick up sixty percent of the way through, or so. It actually takes two run-throughs to the song to actually appreciate the song.  When you understand what Levin is going for with the track, it is at that point that you will start to like the song.

While many of the tracks on Them Feet by Tom Levin have a full musical background, the music on the song “June’s Memory Lane” is sparse with just an electric guitar creating the music. As with other songs on this release, Tom Levin knows how to grab on to your emotions. “June’s Memory Lane” features the storyline of a woman on her way to hospice and the driver who takes her on one last drive around places that meant something special to her during her lifetime. The simple and sparse guitar accompaniment seems to amplify the emotional feeling in the lyrics to the song. While it’s a lovely song, it may not be the wisest move to listen to the song if you just recently said goodbye to a loved one. So be warned.

Them Feet by Tom Levin is the type of album that is great to find every once in a while as the feeling in the music changes from track to track and keeps the album from getting stale. Each song on the release has its own style and that adds to the variety in the music. The one thing all of the songs on the album do have in common is the fact that Levin knows how to reach you, emotionally. Because of that, this is one release that definitely proves that Levin is a very good songwriter.

Rating: **** (four stars)

Check out the video to “Them Feet” by Tom Levin.

Check out this album and other music by Tom Levin by going to his Soundcloud profile.

 

 

 

 

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