Fred Thomas: Changer [Album Review]

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Fred Thomas
Polyvinyl Records [2017]


Who: Songwriter/singer/producer Fred Thomas has a lengthy resume in music that includes four records with Saturday Looks Good to Me. More recently he has had success out on his own but after his 2015 record, All Are Saved he didn’t have a normal year. He quit his stable job, got married and moved from Michigan to Canada.

Sound: Thomas delivers a poetic narrative style throughout Changer that reminds me Craig Finn from The Hold Steady and even going back to King Missile. He mixes in electronic indie synths and instrumentals with pop and lower fi folk that gives a very DIY vibe that is similar to Say Hi To Your Mom.

TFN Final Take: Fred Thomas has tons going on and as each of us age I totally get it. This is a record that asks the question of where are we going? Where do these mid-life choices take us and checking on how am I doing? All tough questions, but when you place the subject matter into Thomas’ creations, the hard questions have more appeal. The intensity of “Mallwalkers” when questions from Thomas come at you like “And why do things feel negated before they’re experienced? Why does it hurt?” He never gives answers but his songs will make you pause. On “August Rats, Young Sociopaths” he says “Here’s another garbage year to dread the end of / Like a nothing kiss that felt so arbitrary.” You might think that the glass half empty approach would get old but actually it keeps life real and that is exactly what you get with Fred Thomas’ Changer. Transparent indie rock with a groove that gets more interesting every time the record spins.

Fred Thomas Website
Fred Thomas Facebook
Polyvinyl Records

– Reviewed by Thomas Wilde

Thomas Wilde

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