Sandi Thom
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Sandi Thom

Los Angeles, CA | Established. Jan 01, 1997 | INDIE

Los Angeles, CA | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1997
Solo Americana Blues

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"Live Review: The Maltings, Berwick-Upon-Tweed 2013"

Passionate Sandi needed no gimmicks. Her raspy vocals filled the room and held her audience’s attention from start to finish. - Berwick Advertiser


"Live Review: The Maltings, Berwick-Upon-Tweed 2013"

Passionate Sandi needed no gimmicks. Her raspy vocals filled the room and held her audience’s attention from start to finish. - Berwick Advertiser


"Live Review: Colston Hall, Bristol 2013"

Sandi’s voice has the ability to sooth as well as impress with its range. You can’t fake what Sandi has, you can’t manufacture what she delivers. She is a divine singer-songwriter with a truly remarkable voice. - Guide2Weston


"Album Review: "Flesh and Blood""

When they started marketing Scottish singer-songwriter Sandi Thom as a blues artist, and she began popping up on the bill at blues festivals, I wasn’t entirely convinced. Her 2006 number one smash hit in seven countries “I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My hair),” rocketed her into the collective public consciousness and helped her debut album “Smile….It Confuses People,” go platinum with multi-million sales. But while that single put her name in lights, it also made a rod for her own back, as nothing else she has ever written or recorded is anything like that "novelty" track. Aptly, you could say it confused people!Her material has always straddled many genres, and when the chaps in the record store (lucky if you can find one these days….I remember this when it was all fields…..policemen get younger…..) are scratching their heads wondering where to file Ms Thom’s CDs, it is clear that she has no specific pigeon-hole in which to reside. Thing is, I am not even sure Sandi herself has known exactly who she wanted to be as an artist, suffering a bit of an identity crisis. Until now that is. Sandi’s fourth album “Flesh and Blood,” recorded in Nashville, is the hand to her music glove. It fits snugly, has given her a new found confidence and if I can put it this way, a new purpose by the sound of it. No need for head scratching and playing it safe by filing it under blues, folk, roots, acoustic, country and rock categories. Just spell her name right - that’s Sandi with an I and Thom with an H – and file under Sandi Thom.The first of the dozen tracks on the new album, the second release on her own label “Guardian Angels Records,” is like a lot of this CD; a large helping of raunchy vocal sitting on a deep groove. Definitely lots of attitude in her vocal, which appears to have matured and developed considerably.“Help Me,” is almost Southern blues with some tasty slide for good measure. A solid vocal and Sandi adding some fine gob iron too on this Sonny Boy Williamson penned song. “I Owe You Zero,” is an acoustic led ballad, a very good song with some lovely electric guitar work on the solo. Sandi seems to really push herself on the vocal for the title track. I kept having this niggling thought that this tune reminded me of something else, then it hit me. “Feel Like Making Love,” by Bad Company. This would make a good single, a song inspired by Sandi’s past she says, as she explains further: “For many years my past haunted me. So many experiences that I just couldn’t shake. My step father walking out on us when I was 16, the time I was assaulted by a police officer, knocking my teeth out and very nearly ending my career at 19.“Those are just some of the things that contribute to this very colourful life I have led. But there comes a time when you just have to let go. Sometimes the past can bare down on you so heavy, it's like it has a personality. A little voice in your head that never leaves you alone. Well this song is me saying to my past; ‘It's time that you fuck off and let me live my life’. Safe to say……..it did.” I for one,can definitely associate with that sentiment. That's the thing; I think she scores highly for connecting with people with her lyrical content, on most of these songs here.“Sun Comes Crashing Down” is the first single from this album, but wouldn’t have been my choice. Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac territory, with some classic Nicks vocal phrasing from Sandi. Inspired by Sandi’s trip to Africa as an Oxfam ambassador. Mixed by Kevin Shirley, Joe’s right handman for his mega-selling albums, as well as the Buffy Sainte Marie duet which he also mixedThe traditional late 1800’s penned ballad “In The Pines,” which blues legend Huddie”Leadbelly” Ledbetter made famous, gets the Thom treatment with a new arrangement, extra lines of lyric and new bridge. A controlled vocal and a pretty good vehicle for her. Buffy Sainte Marie is the guest on her 1992 classic ”Big Ones Get Away,” which on paper I thought was an unusual choice of duet partner, but it works very well. The 71-year-old legend who is here in August for the Meltdown festival, has a similar vibrato to Thom, and like most Nashville cuts the vocals sit high up in the mix above the music track. The lyric gives food for thought,such as: “If the bad guys don’t get you, then the good guys will….” Over four minutes of sheer class. The album features a stellar ensemble, including Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson who produced the set. Drummer Steve Gorman, fellow Black Crowe and top session man Audley Freed, Nashville stars Mike Webb (keys/dobro) and James Haggerty on bass.“Stormy Weather” is a funky little thing driven by clavinet. Nice groove and Sandi shoves that harp to her mouth again. The bluesy “I See The Devil In You,” slows things down to ballad pace, and I could hear Sandi’s “other half” Joe Bonamassa covering this one in the future. She shows off her vocal range here, but she goes for some vocal acrobatics - Blues And Soul


"Album Review: "Flesh and Blood""

Sandi Thom
Flesh and Blood
Sandi finds her sound - and it's really good.
Move over punk rocker - Sandi Thom the blueswoman has landed, even if she's still - by her own admission - "a big fucking hippie" who'd like to right the world's wrongs. Yes, there's a definite troubadour feel to much of her fourth studio album (not lease in The Sun Comes Crashing Down - a prayer for rain in an African village Sandi visited), but now it has country bluesy passion, under the production of Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson.
We always knew Sandi would sing. What becomes apparent here, however, is that she can wail with soul, and that lends itself to raunchy olde-blues stomps (a cover of Sonny Boy Williamson II's Help Me) just as happily as beautiful lovelorn numbers (ode to boyfriend Joe Bonamassa, Love You Like A Lunatic), through to the clav-alicious sassy groove-fest Stormy Weather.
You sense that there's more to come from her in terms of songwriting, but if Flesh And Blood is anything to go by, this is something we can expect to really flourish from here on.
A very Strong Record.
7/10
Polly Glass - Classic Rock Magazine


"Album Review: "Flesh and Blood""

Sandi Thom
Flesh and Blood
Sandi finds her sound - and it's really good.
Move over punk rocker - Sandi Thom the blueswoman has landed, even if she's still - by her own admission - "a big fucking hippie" who'd like to right the world's wrongs. Yes, there's a definite troubadour feel to much of her fourth studio album (not lease in The Sun Comes Crashing Down - a prayer for rain in an African village Sandi visited), but now it has country bluesy passion, under the production of Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson.
We always knew Sandi would sing. What becomes apparent here, however, is that she can wail with soul, and that lends itself to raunchy olde-blues stomps (a cover of Sonny Boy Williamson II's Help Me) just as happily as beautiful lovelorn numbers (ode to boyfriend Joe Bonamassa, Love You Like A Lunatic), through to the clav-alicious sassy groove-fest Stormy Weather.
You sense that there's more to come from her in terms of songwriting, but if Flesh And Blood is anything to go by, this is something we can expect to really flourish from here on.
A very Strong Record.
7/10
Polly Glass - Classic Rock Magazine


"Album Review: "Flesh and Blood""

Sandi Thom
FLESH AND BLOOD
4/5
Stone the Crows!
Sandi rocks the blues.
This is Sandi Thom's fourth album in seven years and you can draw a bloodline straight through the first threee to get to FLESH AND BLOOD. Speaking of bloodlines, the young Scots singer appears to have picked up the dusty baton that Maggie Bell once ferociously clutched to her chest. Neatly mixing songs by Sonny Boy Williamson II, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Leadbelly, with her own heartfelt musings, Sandi Thom has created an album that just might blast her into the musical stratosphere.
FLESH AND BLOOD gets a kick start with Sonny Boy II's Help Me and is cock full of the most blues-wailin' harmonica solos and beefy guitar licks I've heard in years. Couple that with Ms. Thom's warm throaty vocals, you just know you are onto a winner.
In The Pines probably owes more to the unplugged version that Nirvana performed on TV, as the Scottish singer puts her heart, soul and lungs into every verse without losing any of Leadbelly's original subtlety.
Of her own songs, Sun Comes Crashing Down and I See The Devils In You prove what a great blues-meets-soul voice Sandi Thom has, as the Black Crowes' Rich Robinson builds a sound around her vocals that George Martin would be proud of.
The Big Ones Get Away is a lot quieter that the rest of the tracks on the album and features the wonderful duet with Buffy St. Marie, who originally wrote the song.
Staying with the slower second half of the album, Love You Like A Lunatic is a really deep, soulful love song, and certainly ranks as one of her best. The album ends with Lay Your Burden Down, which begins with a single, soft drum beat and a Hammond organ supporting Sandi as she pours her heart out. A spine tingling guitar takes the song onto a whole other level, before we go back to the organ and simple drum beat to the fade., making it a very clever and beautiful song. FLESH AND BLOOD is the classiest Bluesy-Rock album I've heard in Years.
-Alan Harrison - Maverick Magazine


"Album Review: "Flesh and Blood""

After the success of "Merchants & Thieves" in 2010, Sandi Thom returns with her fourth album "Flesh and Blood"_ an album she calls "a coming of age."

Produced by Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes and released on her independent label Guardian Angels Records, Thom proves that she is still relevant and in great vocal shape. From the moment you hit play, the raw soulfulness of Thom's voice on upbeat track "Help Me" makes it obvious it's coming from the heart.

It's not just the voice that tells you this but also the fact that Thom draws from personal experiences to create a record full to the brim with emotion by way of fierce and honest storytelling: "I'm leaving and scales of justice are even I still believe in, you own the air that I breathe in, I cried more you cried less, and I paid my debt in loneliness, so I owe you zero, I owe you zero."

These lyrics accompanied by an acoustic guitar to begin with and later joined by an electric guitar, make "I Owe You Zero" a powerful performance.

Primarily a blues-country record, it's layered with Motown influences as well as rock elements. "Stormy Weather" is all out rock and this mix of genres is definitely a style that suits her.

Those not familiar with Thom's music prior to this will be as delighted as established fans.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: "The Big Ones Get Away" featuring Buffy Sainte-Marie – a superb duel for vocal attention with one of her idols. - The Huffinton Post


"Album Review: "Flesh and Blood""

After the success of "Merchants & Thieves" in 2010, Sandi Thom returns with her fourth album "Flesh and Blood"_ an album she calls "a coming of age."

Produced by Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes and released on her independent label Guardian Angels Records, Thom proves that she is still relevant and in great vocal shape. From the moment you hit play, the raw soulfulness of Thom's voice on upbeat track "Help Me" makes it obvious it's coming from the heart.

It's not just the voice that tells you this but also the fact that Thom draws from personal experiences to create a record full to the brim with emotion by way of fierce and honest storytelling: "I'm leaving and scales of justice are even I still believe in, you own the air that I breathe in, I cried more you cried less, and I paid my debt in loneliness, so I owe you zero, I owe you zero."

These lyrics accompanied by an acoustic guitar to begin with and later joined by an electric guitar, make "I Owe You Zero" a powerful performance.

Primarily a blues-country record, it's layered with Motown influences as well as rock elements. "Stormy Weather" is all out rock and this mix of genres is definitely a style that suits her.

Those not familiar with Thom's music prior to this will be as delighted as established fans.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: "The Big Ones Get Away" featuring Buffy Sainte-Marie – a superb duel for vocal attention with one of her idols. - The Huffinton Post


"Album Review: "Flesh and Blood""

After the success of "Merchants & Thieves" in 2010, Sandi Thom returns with her fourth album "Flesh and Blood"_ an album she calls "a coming of age."

Produced by Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes and released on her independent label Guardian Angels Records, Thom proves that she is still relevant and in great vocal shape. From the moment you hit play, the raw soulfulness of Thom's voice on upbeat track "Help Me" makes it obvious it's coming from the heart.

It's not just the voice that tells you this but also the fact that Thom draws from personal experiences to create a record full to the brim with emotion by way of fierce and honest storytelling: "I'm leaving and scales of justice are even I still believe in, you own the air that I breathe in, I cried more you cried less, and I paid my debt in loneliness, so I owe you zero, I owe you zero."

These lyrics accompanied by an acoustic guitar to begin with and later joined by an electric guitar, make "I Owe You Zero" a powerful performance.

Primarily a blues-country record, it's layered with Motown influences as well as rock elements. "Stormy Weather" is all out rock and this mix of genres is definitely a style that suits her.

Those not familiar with Thom's music prior to this will be as delighted as established fans.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: "The Big Ones Get Away" featuring Buffy Sainte-Marie – a superb duel for vocal attention with one of her idols. - The Huffinton Post


"Live Review: The Point, Cardiff"

The Point allows for total intamacy with the artist and I was standing less than 5 feet away from her. She was dressed in a short skirt, black top, cowboy boots and cowboy hat (she looked sexy as hell). From the minute she came on the stage she started interacting with crowd and this went on throughout the gig. Her first three songs were from her first album and included Borderline and Jukebox great songs and this allowed her to introduce her new stuff from her latest album. As a musician she also demonstrated her skill with the harmonica playing it several times through out the show. She was very animated and moved around the stage when not singing talking to her band. Half way through her set the band left the stage and left her on her own to do two accoustic tracks which had the audience spell bound. The band came back on to sing I wish I was a Punk Rocker which was played for majority of the time as a accoustic track. - Anthonie, Ultimate Guitar


"Live Review: Axis Festival"

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Features > Axis Festival: Sandi Thom review


Axis Festival: Sandi Thom review
by Guest Reviewer Bret Allen
The Axis Festival 2007 launched with Sandi Thom playing the Sugarmill and it certainly was an opening night to remember. Bret Allen takes in the Thom...


For any occasion, an opening night needs to be memorable, well organised and have a great atmosphere. Stoke-on-Trent s Axis Festival succeeded with flying colours on Wednesday 02 May with a superb performance from Sandi Thom and guests at The Sugarmill in Hanley.

Mellow and entertained

Sandi Thom brought to the Sugarmill and the Axis Festival a great sense of community and well-being. A gig where people are enjoying the show together instead of jostling and shoving is always refreshing, and Sandi certainly seemed to keep the fans happy, mellow and entertained.


The Axis festival is bringing a host of music, performance and culture to the city between the 04 and 06 of May. Organisations like Love Music Hate Racism, City of Stoke-on-Trent and a host of local businesses are helping to put the city on the cultural map. Sandi's show must have reassured them that their time has been well invested, with a room full of people cheering and clapping.

A friend playing in your living room

Opening with 'Horse Power' and packing a mixture of instruments including a keyboard and harmonica, Sandi demonstrated a mixed, talented style to which her recorded music does not do justice.

Sandi bantered with the fans and has a humble charisma that, like her folk music, makes her gigs feel like a friend playing in your living room instead of a national star playing in a nightclub. Naturally, Sandi squeezed in the hit song 'I wish I was a punk rocker' as a finale, treating the already jubilant crowd and then rounding off with an encore of the more relaxed ditty, 'The pink and the lily'.

Supporting Sandi


Sandi was supported by two local acts, a solo acoustic and vocal set by Holly Reynolds and rock band My Dead Lovers. "Being asked to play the opening of the Axis festival on what was only our third gig in this band obviously meant a lot to us," said My Dead Lovers Guitarist Mark Eyden.

"Geographically Stoke's in a great location for live music, being not a million miles away from Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham or even London and I think this festival goes to prove it."

Young Holly also went down well with the crowd, performing a simple acoustic set with amazingly clear, strong and emotive vocals.

Sandi performed without any fault at The Sugarmill and is certainly an act to be marked for live shows with her intimate style. It is clear that the Axis festival has attracted both talented entertainment and a great crowd of music lovers to the city of Stoke-on-Trent.


last updated: 07/05/07
SEE ALSO - Bret Allen BBC


"Live Review: Islington Academy,"

Thom clearly has talent. Thom has been compared with a plethora of rock heavyweights, including Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Carole King, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. In fact, she has more in common with Alanis Morissette (angst), Eddie Reader (sprightliness), Kirsty MacColl (words) and Joni Mitchell (voice). While every new young female singer-songwriter from 1971 onwards has been compared with Mitchell, the majority are not fit to hold Joni's plectrum. Thom, however, does have huge potential.

Onstage, none of the material from her debut album, Smile... It Confuses People, an upbeat, uncomplicated hybrid of folk and soul, feels like filler. In the main, her lyrical observations are winsome and optimistic rather than sharp and edgy in the manner of, say, the perpetually cross Martha Wainwright. Her songs are replete with romantic imagery - "belle of the ball", "stardust" and "bumble bees, grazing knees" - and her insights are those of an artist in her infancy, and not fully formed. Nevertheless, her stand-out numbers, "Superman" (which she is unable to perform tonight due to a defunct keyboard) and "Time" have an exquisite, stripped-down quality which accentuate her impressive vocal range. "Time" is sumptuous, a Mary Hopkin-like lament about, ahem, the passing of time ("time catches everyone") which stands comparison with the best of Paul Simon's songbook and Dylan's "Bob Dylan's Dream".

This was an engaging 50 minutes or so from an unformed but precocious talent. Watch this webspace. - Ben Walsh, The Independant


"Live Review: Islington Academy,"

Thom clearly has talent. Thom has been compared with a plethora of rock heavyweights, including Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Carole King, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. In fact, she has more in common with Alanis Morissette (angst), Eddie Reader (sprightliness), Kirsty MacColl (words) and Joni Mitchell (voice). While every new young female singer-songwriter from 1971 onwards has been compared with Mitchell, the majority are not fit to hold Joni's plectrum. Thom, however, does have huge potential.

Onstage, none of the material from her debut album, Smile... It Confuses People, an upbeat, uncomplicated hybrid of folk and soul, feels like filler. In the main, her lyrical observations are winsome and optimistic rather than sharp and edgy in the manner of, say, the perpetually cross Martha Wainwright. Her songs are replete with romantic imagery - "belle of the ball", "stardust" and "bumble bees, grazing knees" - and her insights are those of an artist in her infancy, and not fully formed. Nevertheless, her stand-out numbers, "Superman" (which she is unable to perform tonight due to a defunct keyboard) and "Time" have an exquisite, stripped-down quality which accentuate her impressive vocal range. "Time" is sumptuous, a Mary Hopkin-like lament about, ahem, the passing of time ("time catches everyone") which stands comparison with the best of Paul Simon's songbook and Dylan's "Bob Dylan's Dream".

This was an engaging 50 minutes or so from an unformed but precocious talent. Watch this webspace. - Ben Walsh, The Independant


"Hot Press "Merchants and Thieves" Review"

It seems there’s life in the (no so) old girl yet. Certainly, her third record Merchants And Thieves is a bit of a revelation. ‘Maggie McCall’, ‘Heart Of Stone’, and the utterly mesmerizing ‘Gold Dust’, all push the right buttons, effortlessly proving her change of direction is a stroke of genius.

Sandi Thom has never sounded as vital as she does now.
- Hot Press


"The Guitarist "Merchants and Thieves" Review"

Music history is peppered with stylistic reinvention, be it the radical new image, the musical about-face or the major line-up change. Chart-topping starlet Sandi Thom has chalked up two of the three for 2010, following her departure from Sony Records and setting up as an independent artist.

An album of Americana-tinged blues with a commanding vocal performance, a live band feel, toneful, tasteful guitars – all topped off with a guest appearance from no less than Joe Bonamassa…a timely opportunity that has helped focus her creative efforts and light a whole new fire in her guitar playing.


- The Guitarist


"Blues In Britain Live Review"

With her brand new album getting rave reviews Sandi Thom and her band were given a chance to showcase some of the songs from the CD to a very large blues audience, as support to top blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa. With just thirty minutes to sell her music to the crowd she managed to do just that with some powerhouse vocals as well as some fine blues harp.
- Blues In Britain


"Blues Matters Live Review"

In a growing generation of the younger set, the Blues has a safe future. The whole of this gig with Sandi and the rest of the musicians on that stage was stunning. It is difficult to point out one song that was not of merit. Though on a strict show-timing that night, it is fair to say, there might have been a lynching had an encore not been allowed. In fact, two where allowed because that crowd wasn’t going to move until its musical hunger for more, had been satiated.
Absolutely great gig!
- Blues Matters


"Album Review: "Smile... It Confuses People""

This is one of the few albums that I've heard this year that made me sit back and think "Wow". After falling briefly in love with "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)", I heard Sandi's second and latest single "What If I'm Right?" and I couldn't get the song out of my head. I bought Sandi's album from EBay just to see if it was any good and was totally overwhelmed.

The album commences with "When Horsepower Meant What It Said", an up-tempo song with a country influence which leaks out of your CD Player and smacks you in the face. Sandi Thom sounds great on this track and the music is very well arranged. I've heard countless comparisons between this and "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" (KT Tunstall). If you've heard this too and it has got you very excited about the track, then please don't get your hopes up. This is a great song, but it does not even scratch the surface of Tunstall's track. Nevertheless, it's a great way to start the album and get you hooked.

Thom's debut single "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker" follows. I think I would actually dub this as one of the worst songs out of the ten on the album - but that's probably because I've heard it so much that I feel like strangling Thom with the flowers in her hair every time I hear it. It is a great song, but people are sick and tired of it. I hope this doesn't put people off this album, because after hearing it for the 378965th time, it certainly didn't motivate me to rush off and buy the album.

Next is "Lonely Girl", which is set to be Thom's third single from the album, to be released on 20th of November. This song is fantastic and one of the highlights of the album. The chorus is very powerful and Thom's vocals just blow you away. This track is not particularly folk or country influenced, which shows that Thom is definitely not a one-trick pony. This is a powerful pop ballad which you just have to belt out when the chorus comes back. One of those songs that gives you that strange tied-knot feeling in your stomach when the chorus comes on, hopefully "Lonely Girl", when released, can make up for the relatively poor performance of "What If I'm Right" as a single. This track certainly has the potential to save the album and is a smart move from Thom to pull in more listeners.

"Sunset Borderline", the fourth track on the album, is one of the songs which didn't immediately grab my attention and make me fall in love with it. After numerous, listens, however, Sunset Borderline has become one of those songs that I play in my head when I'm bored on the bus. The problem with this track is it will seem very bland and tasteless to a lot of listeners - it's a lovely song, but it just doesn't grab you like the other songs on the CD do. This track is the hardest on the CD to review - I'm on the fence. The chorus is extremely catchy, but first you have to listen to this song a lot before you like it. I think that this track will be easily forgettable for a lot of people, and after one listen will skip past this song on the album and dismiss it as a weak point. I seem to be contradicting myself, the song is catchy but forgettable? This song is too hard to explain! *Feels embarassed*

One of the catchiest songs on the album, "Little Remedy" is one of the highlights of this CD. A good way of peaking your interest after it may have waned after "Sunset Borderline". Thom sounds great on this track and the music is well played and catchy. I think this song will be very popular, but not suitable as a single choice after "What If I'm Right?" (the two songs could be dubbed as too similar).

Aaaaah... "Castles". Or, wait. Is this "Sunset Borderline"? *Checks track number* No, it's Castles. This track is very similar to Sunset Borderline, in my opinion, in the way that it doesn't particularly peak your interest after one or two listens. The two songs will be the two most skipped, I think. The main difference between the two is that this track is more powerful than Sunset Borderline and vocally Thom outstrips most of the rest of the album on this track. A great track with lovely lyrics, but I think this song may be listened to once by listeners and then never listened to again. You need to give this song a chance before you fall in love with it.

One of the biggest scandals of 2006 is the way "What If I'm Right?" flopped HARD. It's not even in the charts now, after not having even peaked in the top 20, I think I've seen the video on the music channels twice and I've never heard this song on the radio. After the roaring success of her debut single, I can't possibly imagine what Thom done wrong with this release.
Despite its lack of commercial success, What If I'm Right? is the number one highlight of this CD. It's fun, it's catchy, and I love it. This is the song that made me buy the CD - I saw it on the music channel, downloaded it and then thought "I think I'll get this CD". This song will be loved by all, I am sure. You can relate to this song - www.dooyoo.co.uk


"Album Review: "The Pink & The Lily""

SANDI THOM: THE PINK & THE LILY **
THERE was something so pat about the overnight success of Sandi Thom two years ago that it became easy to dismiss her as a one-hit wonder. Her long-term musical fate remains to be seen but the Banff-bred, London-based singer/songwriter was ultimately not best served by a bogus rags-to-riches story (concerning the burgeoning online audience for a series of internet concerts she allegedly performed in her flat before she landed a record contract) which turned out to be a good old-fashioned publicity scam.

Unfortunately for Thom, you just cannot buy that kind of organic fan support. Regardless, her jolly summer singalong I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker… became a huge hit and her debut album Smile… It Confuses People sold a none-too-shabby million copies.

For her follow-up album, Thom has expressed a desire to "wipe the slate clean" but, in the interim, she has been lapped by young Amy MacDonald, who has a similar talent for marrying adolescent lyrical platitudes to infernally catchy tunes – although at least she has the excuse that she was a teenager at the time of composition.

While MacDonald's sleeper success buys her time to develop, it is likely that The Pink & The Lily is make-or-break for Thom. She comes out of the traps confidently. Lead single The Devil's Beat is another effortlessly infectious, mindless rootsy pop number in the vein of …Punk Rocker with the added tub-thumping verve of prime KT Tunstall. Its main virtue is that it doesn't care what anyone thinks, it just is. And it sounds perfectly pleasant drifting out of the radio if you don't think about it too hard.

That it is easily one of the best songs on the entire album is more of a problem, however. What else does she have as back-up? Thom is a capable enough tunesmith but her musical style is very old-fashioned, even anachronistic. The Pink & The Lily sounds like something Texas left behind 15 years ago, and Thom is happy to bolster that impression with her bizarre nostalgia for days of yore she has not actually lived through.

On Music In My Soul, she harks back to those good old days when she would sing along to Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. "It was such a long time ago, I never want to let that go," she pines, as if there is some moratorium on listening to old records. Girl, you can sing along to Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles any time you want – now, how about giving the new Santogold album a spin?

Musically, it's a decent pastiche of her namechecked heroes with a strong chorus. Despite the flaws in its reasoning, it would make a good future single. There are a lot of people out there who like their universal sentiments as vague as possible.

However, the name-dropping nostalgia gets out of hand on The Last Picturehouse. The objection here is not so much that Thom reckons the cinema-going experience ain't what it used to be since Bette Davis and James Dean croaked – it is that she cannot surely, aged 26, be singing from her own experience.

Sure, she doesn't have to sing about herself. But she is no Ray Davies when it comes to the character sketches either. Saturday Night is a clichéd portrait of down-at-heel kids staring at the stars, living for the weekend, blah blah, while Success's Ladder is her hamfisted tale of an AWOL businessman, "Julian Sidebottom William Smyth", who is "tired of commuting, tired of computing".

Thom is a truly terrible lyricist – which won't surprise anyone who got a headache trying to make sense of her vision of punk rockers with flowers in their hair. Trite lines such as "it don't feel so good when the sun don't shine" fit well enough in an upbeat, unpretentious pop song such as The Devil's Beat or even a no-flies-on-me freewheeling ditty such as Shape I'm In ("I've got a little piece of heaven and that's what keeps me sane"). But it gets worse: I'm A Human Being celebrates unity in diversity, or thereabouts, namechecking hippies, punks, Stevie Wonder and The Rolling Stones along the way, before concluding that "I believe in love and I love being a human being". Even before she chucks in the reference to Beijing, comparisons to Katie Melua's risible Nine Million Bicycles would not be out of order.

However, her most cringeworthy piece of cod philosophy is saved for Beatbox. And here it is: "Your heart is just a beatbox for the song of your life." On the plus side, the song does feature some nice banjo.

Which brings me to the more positive note on which I'd like to end. Thom has a really good country voice, best showcased on the polished Wounded Hearts. This style suits her down to the ground and might be worth cultivating in future. Of course, she would probably have nothing to add to the country vernacular – but neither do established Nashville stars these days anyway.
- Scotsmam


"Album Review: "The Pink & The Lily""

SANDI THOM: THE PINK & THE LILY **
THERE was something so pat about the overnight success of Sandi Thom two years ago that it became easy to dismiss her as a one-hit wonder. Her long-term musical fate remains to be seen but the Banff-bred, London-based singer/songwriter was ultimately not best served by a bogus rags-to-riches story (concerning the burgeoning online audience for a series of internet concerts she allegedly performed in her flat before she landed a record contract) which turned out to be a good old-fashioned publicity scam.

Unfortunately for Thom, you just cannot buy that kind of organic fan support. Regardless, her jolly summer singalong I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker… became a huge hit and her debut album Smile… It Confuses People sold a none-too-shabby million copies.

For her follow-up album, Thom has expressed a desire to "wipe the slate clean" but, in the interim, she has been lapped by young Amy MacDonald, who has a similar talent for marrying adolescent lyrical platitudes to infernally catchy tunes – although at least she has the excuse that she was a teenager at the time of composition.

While MacDonald's sleeper success buys her time to develop, it is likely that The Pink & The Lily is make-or-break for Thom. She comes out of the traps confidently. Lead single The Devil's Beat is another effortlessly infectious, mindless rootsy pop number in the vein of …Punk Rocker with the added tub-thumping verve of prime KT Tunstall. Its main virtue is that it doesn't care what anyone thinks, it just is. And it sounds perfectly pleasant drifting out of the radio if you don't think about it too hard.

That it is easily one of the best songs on the entire album is more of a problem, however. What else does she have as back-up? Thom is a capable enough tunesmith but her musical style is very old-fashioned, even anachronistic. The Pink & The Lily sounds like something Texas left behind 15 years ago, and Thom is happy to bolster that impression with her bizarre nostalgia for days of yore she has not actually lived through.

On Music In My Soul, she harks back to those good old days when she would sing along to Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. "It was such a long time ago, I never want to let that go," she pines, as if there is some moratorium on listening to old records. Girl, you can sing along to Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles any time you want – now, how about giving the new Santogold album a spin?

Musically, it's a decent pastiche of her namechecked heroes with a strong chorus. Despite the flaws in its reasoning, it would make a good future single. There are a lot of people out there who like their universal sentiments as vague as possible.

However, the name-dropping nostalgia gets out of hand on The Last Picturehouse. The objection here is not so much that Thom reckons the cinema-going experience ain't what it used to be since Bette Davis and James Dean croaked – it is that she cannot surely, aged 26, be singing from her own experience.

Sure, she doesn't have to sing about herself. But she is no Ray Davies when it comes to the character sketches either. Saturday Night is a clichéd portrait of down-at-heel kids staring at the stars, living for the weekend, blah blah, while Success's Ladder is her hamfisted tale of an AWOL businessman, "Julian Sidebottom William Smyth", who is "tired of commuting, tired of computing".

Thom is a truly terrible lyricist – which won't surprise anyone who got a headache trying to make sense of her vision of punk rockers with flowers in their hair. Trite lines such as "it don't feel so good when the sun don't shine" fit well enough in an upbeat, unpretentious pop song such as The Devil's Beat or even a no-flies-on-me freewheeling ditty such as Shape I'm In ("I've got a little piece of heaven and that's what keeps me sane"). But it gets worse: I'm A Human Being celebrates unity in diversity, or thereabouts, namechecking hippies, punks, Stevie Wonder and The Rolling Stones along the way, before concluding that "I believe in love and I love being a human being". Even before she chucks in the reference to Beijing, comparisons to Katie Melua's risible Nine Million Bicycles would not be out of order.

However, her most cringeworthy piece of cod philosophy is saved for Beatbox. And here it is: "Your heart is just a beatbox for the song of your life." On the plus side, the song does feature some nice banjo.

Which brings me to the more positive note on which I'd like to end. Thom has a really good country voice, best showcased on the polished Wounded Hearts. This style suits her down to the ground and might be worth cultivating in future. Of course, she would probably have nothing to add to the country vernacular – but neither do established Nashville stars these days anyway.
- Scotsmam


"Album Review: "Smile... It Confuses People""

If you think that KT Tunstall is an outstanding talent, it's high-time you became better acquainted with Sandi Thom. Whilst KT is a truly incredible singer-songwriter, the Tooting-based Sandi somehow seems to be an even more extraordinary songwriter in a league of her own, armed with a cauldron of top melodies and a voice literally to die for.

This debut album might be being released on an independent label, and there might not be multi-million pound advertising campaigns on TV and/ or in magazines (yet) to promote the beauty, but the buzz around Sandi is fast-spreading like blazing wildfire, thanks in part to a series of gigs that she has recently performed from her very own humble basement of all places.
Weird, you might think... but the beauty part is that she's broadcast such mini-gigs via her webcam onto the internet, and as a result has been seen by over 300,000 people. Now that's what I call keeping the DIY spirit alive and kicking - and what an effect such transmissions have had.

To an extent, like The Arctic Monkeys were on My Space before they broke through into the big-time, Sandi Thom is the talk of internet-land, and it just proves once again that the best publicity of all is good old-fashioned word-of-mouth. If a singer or band has genuine talent, word soon gets around.

Sandi's debut album is a pleasure from start to finish, opened up by the crazily catchy When Horsepower Meant What It Said tune that's propelled by a crisp acoustic melody, kitsch backing harmonies and a chirpy chorus. Both Country music and Pure Pop elements are blissfully married together, as though Shania Twain has been listening to KT Tunstall's album on repeat-play before hitting the recording studio.
Former single release I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker is spine-chillingly original and an awesome showcase for her sensational voice and fascinating lyrics. Time and again throughout this album Sandi proves that there is no more devastatingly effective instrument than the human voice itself.

Some of the songs are Pure Pop, such as Lonely Girl, which is the type of tune that could put a fair few Britney-styled Pop Princesses out of work given the emotion-driven integrity at its heart.
Little Remedy is another flawless melodic Pop number with a striking edge, before the heart-wrenching Castles gives way to the uber-cool Human Jukebox which hears Sandi sounding a little like Sheryl Crow in her sassier early days.

Smile... It Confuses People is ultimately a masterpiece in which there is a fine balance between all-out, deftly upbeat Pop-Rock tunes and slower, more subtle numbers that have something of a Folk-fangled twist in their tale. The upshot is that Sandi Thom is undeniably a huge star in the making, and I reckon that a year down the line - when it comes to the Brit Awards 2007 - Sandi might just be the first in line to pick up a number of coveted awards for her stunning services to music. So watch this space. - ThisIsUll


Discography

Singles:
"I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker(With Flowers In My Hair"
"What If I'm Right"
"Lonely Girl"
"Devil's Beat"
"Saturday Night"
"This Ol' World"
"Gold Dust"
"Flesh and Blood"
"Love you like a Lunatic"

Albums:
"Smile...It Confuses People"
"The Pink & The Lily"
"Merchants and Thieves"
"Flesh and Blood"

All have international airplay.

Photos

Bio

In 2006 Sandi released the no.1 album and single 'Smile it confuses people' and 'I wish i was a punk rocker (with flowers in my hair), the album and respective single topped the charts in 7 countries across the world including a stay at the top spot in Australia for a record breaking 12 weeks. This success paved the way for Sandi's career as a singer/songwriter.

In 2008 Sandi followed up with her second album 'Pink and the Lily' which was also a top 20 hit in the UK and other countries across the world.

After two records with Sony BMG, Sandi set up the independent record label Guardian Angels Music and signed an exciting distribution deal with In Grooves Fontana.

In 2010, Thom then went on to release the critically acclaimed ‘Merchants and Thieves’, featuring a guest performance from legendary guitarist Joe Bonamassa, an album that brilliantly reflects how she opened up a whole new channel for her creativity.

Retaining her innate feeling for a powerful melody and a trenchant lyric, the record added a new blues sensibility that visitors to her famously powerful gigs have sensed for themselves in recent months.

At the Glastonbury Festival in 2011, devotees and newcomers watched in shared amazement as Sandi took lead guitar on the album’s excellent, early Fleetwood Mac-inspired ‘Gold Dust’ and then led the band through Led Zeppelin’s ‘When The Levee Breaks.’ In 2012 Sandi was asked to join an all star cast including rockers Brian May, Alice Cooper and John paul Jones at an exclusive event held at the Royal Albert Hall. Its clear that Sandi has won the respect of her peers.

This respect led her to work with Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson on her 4th studio album 'Flesh and Blood', that also features a beautiful duet with acclaimed singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte Marie.

The Huffington Post gave the album a flowing review an called it "fierce and honest songwriting".

2014 already has Sandi touring the UK, US and Australia over a 3 month period, all of which has been arranged and onrchestrated in house by herself and her dedicated team.

Sandi is a great example of a thriving independent artist in todays music business, not only with her business sense but also her dedication to her profession.