Somewhat sardonic and drenched in the irrepressible dialect of modern singer-songwriters, Tom Woodward begets a responsible, if not utterly agreeable release with Beautiful Shadows. The Aussie singer-songwriter trespasses into a quasi-familiar territory of psychedelic-tinged ballads, while ultimately placing the onus on a persona familiar to desperados and coffee house regulars. Beautiful Shadows is, if nothing else, another pleasing entry in the S&S category that sticks off the shelf a hair for being just that much more strange than the typical release.
Chris Hancock’s production enhances Beautiful Shadows to something comparable to the adult-contemporary Tame Impala. Simultaneously Hancock tosses Woodward into an arena wherein he sounds eerily similar to our dearly departed Edward Sharpe (or, at the very least, that’s what that outfit ought to be.)
At times, Woodard can choke on his malapropisms between bouncing guitar riffs, cramming an Ezra Koening amount of lyricism into the confines of a few bars. Ever so quickly, Woodward can slip into a morose growl, then flitting back into a friendlier register. The entirety of the record’s layout makes one wonder what approximately 50% of the album would sound like with some serious static behind it.
A release with some heart and soul that is ultimately less of a debacle than any surface level teething problems.