Tom Moriarty - Fire In The Doll's House
Debut album from the English singer-songwriter comes trailed by a tag line as bland as it is condescending: “It's about how everyone seems to be blind to what's going on in the world and we need to wake up to the fact that we're all in this together.” I can live with an artist casting himself as the only switched on cynic in a crumbling world, but the price for adopting a position so elevated is an ounce of insight, wit, daring; don't tell me I've not noticed how mankind is paddling madly for the abyss if you can neither illuminate nor solve. 'Fire In The Doll's House' makes good on the watery nature of its metaphor and delivers an homogenised brew of acoustic guitar pop and Moriarty's gruff vocals. The song writing hints at protest but, boy, it's all so painfully literal and lily-livered with it. Here's an album that sounds like a vanity project and it comes as no surprise to learn that Moriarty turned his back on a career in the city to make music. If the cliche-heavy likes of 'Life's A Mystery' ("The risks we're taking, God is faking / I guess it's just the way it's gonna be ... like rivers to the sea") don't do for you, then the hand-wringing anti-war sentiments of 'From Now On' surely will: "Such a blindness to regret just like Marie Antoinette / Sitting high up on your chair you think's your thrown." With or without the spelling mistake on the CD sleeve - I presume he's singing the corrected version? - that's a line so clumsily assembled it makes me gasp for air.