Thomas Charlie Pederson “Second Hand War” (Karmanian Records, 2016)

tp2It’s a family affair as Thomas Pederson is joined and produced by Daniel Pederson. This is a sparse album recorded by someone who has obviously listened to his Dylan and many other confessional singers and there is a spark of something wonderful here. It is only a spark at present, but there is sufficient evidence of a potential major talent at work buried deep in the grooves. This is not however an album for the casual listener. The songs are presented in a very austere way with minmal instrumentation – a guitar or a piano perhaps a ukulele and this lack of colour gives the whole a very monochrome feel and throws the songs into stark relief, and they are not yet good enough for that. 

Without exception the lyrics are dense complex affairs laced with imagery and ennui. All well and good but the vocals are buried in the mix and when free of the roar of the instrumentation the delivery is verging on the monotone. ‘For You’ is ‘Blackbird’ by any other name and ‘The Harder the Fall’ has a grandeur lurking within it that fails to escape the production.
The biggest sin is the production as it all feels muddy or shiny spiky clean but nowhere in the middle. I suspect there’s a talent in there, but it needs some nurturing and guidance.

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