Simon Todd – Half Empty/Half Full

Album Review | Ginger Tom Music | Review by Marc Higgins | Stars: 4/5

Half empty half full, which every you decide initially, this is a grower, careful listening delivers nuanced intelligent songs and polished crafted music. “Down to the River” is delivered with a bite and vocal growl that reminded me of Don Henley’s 80s “Smugglers Blues”. There is a bounce and jaunty folk energy that recalls Show Of Hands’ blend of Folk and Roots. “Send Her Home to Me” is a heartfelt song that will appeal to fans of Boo Hewerdine who Co-produces and plays on this album. Well-crafted songs and performances continue with “And I Get Weak” that has a lot of the energy and sparkle of Crowded House. Simon Todd has a voice and a feel that wouldn’t be out place on a daytime national radio playlist. This track especially sounds like a hit. “Poppy Fields” is a darker, more atmospheric protest song that crackles with emotion. Again that Boo Hewerdine influence is there and I say that as someone who has a few feet of Boo’s albums on the shelf. “Judas Kiss” and “The Last Step” are jaunty popish tracks, with some of the jangly punch of 80s Squeeze or even The Manic Street Preachers. Beautifully put together classic, intelligent guitar pop with edge, delivered with energy and bite. Demons layers thoughtful acoustic guitar, a superb vocal shot with emotion and some excellent lyrics. “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” closes the album with a raw blues bite and growl. Simon Todd snarls and spits through a lyric and plays some angry guitar. Love that loudhailer vocal verse too. Vim and energy close the album with a final note like a slammed door. This is an album that needs a wider audience, there are some powerful embers which when fanned could easily become a big deal. Half Empty/Half Full? I’m saying well-made craft beer with distinctive taste and sophisticated flavour from a Boutique Brewery that could have high street appeal and go down nicely with a lot of the discerning if they’d give it a go.