LUCK (Moshi Moshi)
Result: 4.0 / 5.0
London based bespectacled songsmith Tom Vek has never shied away from saying exactly what’s on his mind. His output has always seemed to have a quality of the enfant terrible about it, and on his new album LUCK, Vek has ramped up the sardonic ‘tell it like it is’ quality that can be found permeating his music as far back as his debut We Have Sound back in 2005.
LUCK, Vek’s third album, starts as it means to go on as opening track ‘How Am I Meant To Know’ gradually fades in with a dissonant confidence as Vek delivers his stream of conciseness lyrics in his uniquely off-kilter tone, asking ‘What will they think of me?’ / ‘I need to justify everything I do’. And it’s this cerebral anxiety that continues into album stand-out ‘Sherman (Animals In The Jungle)’. The lightning blot delivery of the track, coupled with an impossibly catchy hook imbedded at its heart, makes the track one of the best of Vek’s career, and sounds like a high octane version of a long lost Talk Talk track.
Vek has always been know for his fastidiousness in the studio and the crisp and clean production on LUCK bears this out. ‘Pushing Your Luck’ boasts razor sharp beats and a smooth, scintillating synth that drives the track forward with exhilarating intensity. But, as with most of the album, it’s Vek’s vocals that have been place front and centre. His delivery is achingly direct and at times so confessional as to be a little disconcerting (see: ‘Trying To Do Better’) but this is all to the album’s credit and adds to the intense experience that LUCK is undoubtedly designed to be.
That’s not to say everything works on LUCK. ‘Ton of Bricks’ sounds like a genuine attempt to scale the heights of mainstream pop, but the track falls a little flat and never quite achieves the level of pop swagger promised at the the start. But LUCK, as a whole, certainly works as an affirmation of Vek’s world view and all his sardonic energy is wrapped in an album that sees him taking, possibly not a leap, but definitely a large stride forward.