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Tyson Smith: There's Nothing We Can't Pretend

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Rating: 3/5

Verdict: Upbeat whip around the globe.

Tyson Smith, There's Nothing We Can't Pretend. Photo / Supplied
Tyson Smith, There's Nothing We Can't Pretend. Photo / Supplied

Tyson Smith's debut album comes about after a fair bit of traveling and he alludes to its intercontinental feel with the image on the cover - paisley shirt, corduroy jacket, and bone necklace.

In a message on the album case Smith says he likes to think of his nomadic little album not so much as a debut as a compilation - the musical diary of six years on the go.

Some of the tracks, he says, have been performed near jungle ruins, others on subways, others on boats crossing oceans.

It seems quite the lifestyle, and Smith certainly sounds like he is having a blast on the album: a bit beach-bonfire singalong, a bit funkadelic and a little bit rock 'n' roll too.

But though his travels took him a long way from his roots at the Christchurch Jazz School, you can't take the Kiwi out of the bloke, can you?

Darren Mathiassen, who plays with Hollie Smith and Lisa Tomlins from Rhombus are among those who join him on the album.

Maybe it's just because he's been enlightened by travel and doesn't have a lot to grovel about, but sometimes the album seems a bit prosaic - he doesn't really sound like he's freaking out in the track Malfunction for example.

However, Smith grew up musically in the tavern gig-going crowd, and as far as tunes in a bar go, this is collection is a set of crowd-pleasers.

- NZ Herald

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