Described as an ‘internet and YouTube sensation’Londoner Tom Milsom is quickly gathering himself quite the reputation. A recent article in the Independent described him as a ‘superstar’. Considered one of the breakout’s of the YouTube tradefair Vidcon, hes already had 13 million plus views on the website. Milson might only be 21 but he already has two full length albums under his belt in 2007’s ‘Awkward Ballads for the Easily Pleased’ and 2009′s ‘Painfully Mainstream’. This allied with the exclusively twitter released‘Explorers1-5’ certainly show a singer with a prodigious level of output but more importantly is this music actually any good or are his one hundred thousand ( yes ,100,000!) subscribers well wide of the mark?
Rather annoyingly this emperor does indeed have an outfit, nay a wardrobe of talent to rely upon as his latest album Alien home shows. The track ‘Kelvinbridge’ is a case in point. It’s all scratchy high pitched guitars and mumbled vocal, it can’t be any good, right? Wrong, it’s steadfastly catchy and lures the listener in with its simple hook. ‘All the good times take so long’ the track tells us, at just ever so slightly longer than two minutes Milsom disproves his own point. It’s a marriage of the low-key mumble core of Jeffrey Lewis and the relaxed guitar styling of Jack Johnson. It’s ridiculously infectious stuff.
Other standout tracks from Milsom include ‘Blinding Summer light’ a light and fluffy number that is aurally as the title suggests indeed a perfectly pleasant piece of summer infused pop. All jangly guitar and handclaps, this track is perfect kicking back in the sunshine music. That isn’t to say this is Toploader-esque ‘hanging with Jamie’ bilge. It’s good, really good. Stylistically Milsommakes his song writing sound effortless, almost throwaway, the way a good pop number should be. It’s a perfectly pleasant piece of music that suggests a talent that could deliver this type of number on the back of a beermat whilst texting. That’s not to say there’s anything careless here, Milsom is clearly capable and dedicated at his craft. This type of track just doesn’t materialise fully formed, it requires work.
Part of you wants to hate this guy but he wins you over with the strength of his song writing. He’s got talent and whether it’s been discovered on a street corner busking or on a video sharing website is irrelevant. Milsom is clearly a guy who is going places and it would be churlish to dismiss this exciting new prospect on the basis of how hes made his mark. In this instance it’s very much a case of millions of YouTube users can’t be wrong.