Thomas Easaw,
Don't Start the Last World War
(independent, 2006)

Who can fault the sentiments of the title? Thomas Easaw has written a very interesting set of songs here to strike chords with many listeners all over the world. He appears to be a writer of high principles who follows the tradition of the protest singer, so common a few decades ago.

Song titles like "The Request," "The Lawyer" and "The Trap" will give you some idea of the content. Easaw subtitles the album "the deepest living voice on earth" and maybe he has a claim to this, but to be honest it is an acquired taste. Being the deep voice he can sometimes do less than justice to his lyrics by becoming rather bland and under expressive.

The tracks range over topics that many find important and songs like "The Judge" will resonate with many listeners. Similarly "The Beggar" has interesting lyrics.

The album has 16 tracks but only eight songs. This is because after listening to the songs you are given what he calls karaoke tracks where you can add your voice instead of his. This may appeal to some people and indeed it can be interesting to hear the backing tracks only but I doubt it will spread to the general audio industry.

He also includes a rather exhaustive insert answering all the questions he expects will arise from his lyrics. This is interesting but maybe a bit heavy on justification. It would be a bit like Dylan explaining "God on Our Side" -- would it diminish the song?

by Nicky Rossiter
3 February 2007

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