Sea Legs by Tom Graham

The Arts — By on June 20, 2007 at 1:30 pm

His fourth album, Sea Legs, finds local singer-songwriter Tom Graham navigating a course through disparate musical styles guided by his keen pop sensibilities and a wry approach to lost love.

The album’s opener, “I’m Leaving, I Mean It,” sets all the pieces in place with Graham using gentle hooks and circular choruses to send his relationship a tuneful goodbye. Graham’s knack for mature and vivid portraits of love in decline recall the beautiful losers of pop history like Joe Jackson or Elvis Costello.

Though his live shows are built around his strengths as a guitarist and singer, Graham breaks out of the traditional solo acoustic performer mold to craft more complex arrangements like “Heartsink.”

Graham deftly explores the full range of his musicianship on Sea Legs with the rockabilly “Been Replaced by Airplanes” or finger-snap percussion of “Bus Ride” but the variety does not make for a bumpy ride. It’s all delivered with the singular voice of one of the area’s most accomplished artists.

Sea Legs was released June 19.

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