Date published: 25th Oct 2007
Nathaniel Slade is seriously talented musician, with a richness and diversity that astounds. He is blessed with a wonderful voice - a great mixture of rough and smooth, reminiscent of John Lennon, Johnny Dickinson and Bono, with undertones of the best bits of Bryan Adams, the dark, "tough love" sensitivity of Tom Waits or Richard Thompson, and a lurking sense of Bob Dylan in the lyrics. His songwriting skill is abundantly evident in the debut album ‘Heart Music Soul Music’. Fourteen tracks long, his songs run from modern and cool-yet-whimsical, to old style blues with a twist, to Britpop and beyond. This album effortlessly crosses musical genres and is simultaneously entrancing, thought-provoking and foot-tappingly smile-inducing.
As for my favourite tracks…well…it is a tough choice. ‘My Mind’ is dark, contemplative, mellow and yet driving, appealing to my Gothic side and perfect for his voice. ‘Back of Your Hand’ in contrast, is pacy and lively, featuring an innovative ‘kitchen samba’ element. I love the way this one gallops along and both tune and words are clever - imagine Fleetwood Mac, meets Bob Dylan. ‘After Twilight’ is fantastic, a total full-on Muse-meets-Pink Floyd-meets-The-Who at Wembley type number. While the catchy sense/nonsense of first track ‘Cigarette’ reminiscent of student life makes me smile. The acidic twist underneath balances the lightness as the latinesque beats drive it along. It works brilliantly live.
'THAN', as Nathaniel is often known, has got something unique. I'm definitely a fan and am looking forward to more!
Review by ~TH~
1st November, Monkey Chews, Off Chalk Farm Rd, London, 10pm
19th November, Dead or Alive at the Old Queen's Head, Essex Rd, Islington, London, 7.45pm
28th November, Core @ Storm, Leicester Square, London, 9.15pm
29th November, The White Hart, Whitechapel, 10pm
5th December, The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh
7th December, The Doghouse, Dundee