Tommy Ludgate possesses a lot of the attributes that make an artist’s fame inevitable.
At just 22, she has the vocal style of someone much older and her fan base has all the loyalty of a golden retriever, yet as her soulful blues glaze the sound waves there appears to be something missing.
Whilst her jazz sound is inarguably relevant, with Amy Winehouse propelling the genre into the top ten and the tabloids, Tommy’s musical style, although similar sounding, is not distinctive or particularly memorable.
Her influences range from Joni Mitchell to India Aria and in many ways she encapsulates an element of each of them. But with an overtone of En Vogue meets an X-Factor winner’s first track – there is something just too safe about it. There does not appear any real pain to her blues, any believable passion in her soul or funk and although it’s pleasant to listen to; it doesn’t itch any real scratches.
Yet Tommy clearly is doing something right as her album and single are funded purely by her zealous fan base. Website Slicethepie gives unsigned acts like Tommy the chance to professionally release albums and retain copyright. Thus perhaps my inexperience of the afore mentioned genres is the crux of my lack of appreciation – rather than a reflection of Tommy’s musical talent.
Regardless of my qualms, such mixed opinions will no doubt make Tommy’s new album ‘Wall of Words’ a must listen for music fans who love a good debate over a opinion divider and similarly for people interested in what may lead the way for more contemporary jazz and soul in the future.