Gareth Thomas: Fizzy Milk (gareththomastunes.com)

 |   |  1 min read

So Unbelievable
Gareth Thomas: Fizzy Milk (gareththomastunes.com)

In a cover so good you want it album-size to frame, this second solo album by Auckland songwriter Gareth Thomas – formerly of Goodshirt – really does fizz with addictive pop which exists at a very comfortable and happy midpoint between canny synth-pop and mainstream guitar pop-rock.

And it's telling that the word “pop” appears there twice because Thomas and compadres craft finely focused songs (these 11 average at 3 minutes) which have a bounce about them. They also offer subtle nods to disco and the dancefloor (Weird Fever with a very cool bass line) and a sense of joy is spotted throughout (the featherlight and dreamy Blue Blue Day which comes with warm horns).

Thomas only occasionally resorts to falsetto (increasingly the default setting for many male singers these days) and when he does it just feels so right.

He's not averse to a little muted Cars-like guitar rock (the moody I'd Like, the funny because it's true Girlfriend on my Hofner, "she plays better than me").

Mostly you can't help notice Thomas sounds happily loved-up and it comes through in songs which put a relationship through the perspectives of a prism (longing, happy, the letting go,  enjoyable confusion, the pleasure of the moment, "I'll follow you blind" on the guitar-twanged Wide Wide Eyed).

We even forgive him the reggae-funk-dub Way Too Hot because it is so delightfu, simple and cleverly arranged with faux steel drums. It's as catchy as hell. 

From the snappy synths, singing bass lines and simple but smart arrangements, Thomas' interesting lyrics and diverse deliveries, Fizzy Milk sets a very high threshold for intelligent Kiwi pop albums this year.

Highly recommended. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Opposite Sex: Opposite Sex (Fishrider)

Opposite Sex: Opposite Sex (Fishrider)

Opposite Sex out of Dunedin have a lot to live up to with their product description: "Haunting waltzes and hyperactive melodic no wave, darkness and light, good and evil, innocence and guilt.... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GREGG ALLMAN INTERVIEWED (2010): The Road Goes On Forever

GREGG ALLMAN INTERVIEWED (2010): The Road Goes On Forever

Scroll down the Wikipedia entry for Gregg Allman and two things will surprise: first how brief it is for a musician who has lived such a full, creative and often dangerously self-abusive life.... > Read more

Susan Tedeschi: Back to the River (Universal)

Susan Tedeschi: Back to the River (Universal)

This raw and soaring blues-rock singer and guitarist has been mentioned in Elsewhere dispatches recently, but only as the wife of slide guitarist Derek Trucks. Very much her own person however,... > Read more