Published Oct 21, 2014The blue-collar stories on Kingston, Ontario's Tom Savage's new LP, History of a Common Man, follow — a little too closely, perhaps — in the steps of other Canadian songwriters like Jim Cuddy. Savage's brand of folk songwriting is audibly akin to predecessors, but lacks individuality. In dealing with similar tropes as those that came before, Savage misses a crucial opportunity to distinguish himself from the norm and stake out his own space as a significant talent. Convoluted rhyme schemes mar songs like "Baby You're All Wrong (That's All Right With Me)," fracturing the flow of the album and the timing of the track by trying to do too much.
The talent of the entirely capable Kingstonian shines through on the bittersweet final track "Slow Decline," while also triumphing on "A Brief Moment of Eternity" and "All Over You." The magic present on these bright lights is due to an understanding of the vision of the song — crafting with clear original intention. Here's hoping his next record does that with more consistency. (Rabid Ear Music)