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Tom Tikka and the Missing Hubcaps - Rainbows and Dead Flowers (One Media iP Ltd)

28 October 2023

Ah, the perennial newcomer, yet an old hand in the game of crafting melodies. Tom Tikka, a solo artist since 2020, presents an accomplished musical journey with a career trajectory that’s skyrocketed in no time. With two well-received albums already in his arsenal – This Is My Happy Face and Better Man – it comes as no surprise that his latest offering, Rainbows & Dead Flowers, continues the trend.

“Rainbow & Dead Flowers,” a surprisingly tender and understated opener, speaks volumes about his musical finesse. It strikes the perfect balance between the intimacy of a solo troubadour and the vibrancy of a full band performance, where each note and beat serves the song’s essence rather than catering to the ego. A splendid display of poetic lyricism matched with exquisite musical delivery sets the tone for the journey ahead.

Having already graced the UK charts, “Fire & Ice” and “Something New” captures the essence of Tikka’s appeal. The former channels an upbeat slice of acoustica, reminiscent of the best of Del Amitri – a personal favorite, if I may say so. Meanwhile, the latter weaves a gentle ballad that bridges the gap between the chamber pop sensibilities of yesteryears and the poised finesse of modern pop.

Amidst these well-established gems, Tikka introduces a diverse array of sonic delights. “Hieroglyphs” exudes a touch of yacht rock grandeur, delivering a blend of pop and sophistication. “Dead-End Romance,” with its undulating dynamics, oscillates between soothing lows and electrifying crescendos, while “Stalemate” has no small amount of Beach Boys charm to it, had they rocked out a bit more and stopped going on about surfing.

It’s clear that Tom Tikka isn’t merely crafting albums; he seems to be writing greatest hits albums. With a repertoire that exudes time-tested craftsmanship, his solo musical journey is going to be one that’s exciting to watch.