Jon Gomm – ‘Live In The Acoustic Asylum’ [Review]
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Understatement of the day: Jon Gomm’s CV is quite impressive. The guy sells out gigs across the world, has performed on every continent on Earth, is welcomed at classical, folk, and metal festivals alike, and has won over fans as diverse as Stephen Fry and Tommy Lee. Behind his viral hit Passionflower – a solo guitar-and-vocal tour de force with a view count well into eight digits – lies a sizeable collection of songs guaranteed to both boggle the mind and brand themselves on your memory.
Live In The Acoustic Asylum is a collection of specially-recorded fan favourites. Passionflower is notable in its absence, but this collection doesn’t suffer for that fact in the least. Twelve-year-old instrumental Stupid Blues kicks things off with rugged pulsations and sharp waves of notes before countrified chav-love song Gloria sees Gomm’s idiosyncratic and detailed vocal enter alongside a spectacular overdriven guitar solo. Beyond this point can be found my personal three favourite cuts. Put a gun to my head and demand I pick only one, and you’d just have to shoot me.
What’s Left For You – tangled tapping and Rasta-induced musings on the meaning of life – is fucking amazing. A track to savour like fine wine, followed by the sultry grooves and pure poetry that combine to form Afterglow, and Hey Child‘s anxiety-laden catharsis. And no-holds-barred fucked-blues solo. These are the kind of songs only the dead could fail to be moved by.
Those who love to lose themselves in oceans of exotic notes will find their bliss in sixth track Temporary before Orville (the only track originally featured on 2013’s Secrets Nobody Keeps) takes flight on razor-edged wings; The Weather Machine spews out an epic-length multicultural mashup underpinning criticism of Western globalisation; and stirring and thought-provoking Radiohead cover High And Dry brings things to a perfect close.
Overall, even a single listen to Live In The Acoustic Asylum makes it clear that this collection is not just for Jon Gomm superfans. Anyone open to the joys of acoustic-led songcraft will find a new favourite song somewhere along this album’s track listing.
TMMP RATING: 100% (Seriously. Essential Listening!)
Links / Music / Video
Live In The Acoustic Asylum is out now, and can be purchased from Jon Gomm’s website for the optimal paying-musicians-not-corporations experience of feelinggoodness.
Check out TMMP’s interview with Jon, discussing this album alongside the counterintuitive reality of bipolar performance, authenticity in music, and drunk dockers. It’s a must-read.
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