Thea Gilmore is now a seasoned veteran of the music scene. Releasing LPs since 1998, this is her 20th album (under various guises). The self-titled Thea Gilmore marks new beginnings for the artist, who’s previous album (released under the moniker Afterlight) marked the end of a tumultuous period on her life.
Possibly best known to the average music dullard as the artist who covered Creedence Clearwater Revival’s bad moon rising in Zack Snyder’s cult classic ‘Army of the Dead’, Thea released her self-titled album under Mighty Village Records, and is a delayed release that I have been looking forward to since covering her recent gig at the Union Chapel in October (if you haven’t read the review, you should check it out). That gig was intended to coincide with her released album – so, as you can imagine, I had high expectations & a bit of an inside track as to what to expect!
Kicking off proceedings, Thea begins with Nice Normal Woman which is has an almost breaks/electro feel to it, and is unique to the album. Bones follows, showcasing Thea’s vocals to an almost galloping beat, while Hope and Fury and Unravel Me provides a more familiar band set up to the tracks, the latter giving Portishead vibes to the feel of the melodies used. Even though it doesn’t flow well from the previous track, Rides On is a great upbeat short track, and is contrasted by the slow, almost ballad-like The Next Time You Win.
The brilliantly titled That’s Love Motherfucker is next up, and brought me right back to one of the high points of her Union Chapel gig. The falling in love motif follows with The Chance and is followed up with by far my favourite track on the album, She Speaks In Colours – brilliantly constructed and executed, inspired by heart-breaking circumstances.
Talking Out Of Tune gives the album a country/folk vibe, whilst Home is the second slow ballad of the album. Rounding things off, The Bright Service is a peculiar track which works, in part because of beautiful uplifting vocal harmony which leaves you feeling more positive than when the track began.
Thea Gilmore doesn’t run smoothly as an album. I found it a little disjointed, however this could have been easily remedied with rearrangement of the songs in a better order, which would have given the album a better flow – surprisingly I feel that her gig was far superior in how the songs flowed from one to another. Having said that, many of the songs on an individual level are excellent, and indeed should be getting more widespread recognition than they currently are. A great collection of songs, rather than a great album.