Achieving Success Without Talent ... It Confuses People.
Out of all the musicians and musical moments described as phenomena, the "creatively" spelled Sandi Thom is a true phenomena – because why anyone would want to listen to her outpourings is truly a mystery. We all know the story – after failing to break into the mainstream through touring, Ms. Thom decided to broadcast live "gigs" over the internet from her flat, word spread over the internet and soon she was performing live on daytime TV and releasing debut single 'I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker' and album 'Smile ... It Confuses People'.
'Lonely Girl' (presumably penned when Sandi was still living in her basement flat - let's all take a moment to congratulate her for overcoming such an obstacle) opens with a seven second drum machine intro, the best seven seconds of the song as they are without her wailing dreadful singing – and once it starts there is no respite. Ms. Thom carries a weak melody through the song, which, at its best sounds like Steps attempting a ballad (although even they would probably relegate it to a filler track for an album). The instrumental accompaniment has a vaguely Christmas air, although perhaps because that is the only time of year that we are subjected to such formulaic and cheesy tunes as this. Lyrically, the song's words may appeal to fans of the worst kind of emo, or perhaps just those who can laugh at the ridiculous – lines such as "In the dark she lingers / Like a tear without a soul" and "But I see through her sadness deep into her soul / All she wants to have is someone she can love to make whole" deserve a special mention.
The problem with Sandi Thom is that, fundamentally, she has the musical talent of a roof tile. Sure, she might write her own songs, but that doesn't mean that they're any good, or that they're any better than the average pop song written by a shady bald-headed man and performed by a vacuous blonde teenager. The fact that she can play an instrument doesn't mean that her music contains more emotion than your average Top 10 pop song; and although the lyrics she sings are her own they still have the wit of an old cheese sandwich and the eloquence of an abandoned couch. If female singer-songwriters spark your interest, check out Fiona Apple, Imogen Heap or P J Harvey (amongst others) – there are plenty of ladies out there who don't have to wish that they had the spirit of the punk rocker. Of course, Sandi Thom is "in" and this will undoubtedly be a success, but only because the public lack taste and certainly not because it's any good.