Genius can take many forms. In Jon Gomm it has manifested itself in a guitar abusing pioneer who definitely pushes the boundaries of the instrument in a way that many have tried, but rarely manged to achieve. This the second album from the Leeds based guitarist has been a long time in the coming. A wait that has proved fruitful for the listener.
Album opener Waterfall casts a hypnotic percussive spell, complete with lyrics in Urdu, that shows off many of the techniques that fill this album. It is hard to put into context what exactly Gomm is creating here without seeing him live, but the music on display is strong enough without the visual aspect of his performance.
The beautiful Temporary is a haunting and beguiling piece that brings the best out of Gomm's slightly nasal voice while the instrumental Topeka proves his guitar prowess (as if any were needed). The Weather Machine is an epic masterpiece laced with Middle Eastern influences and certainly makes a nod in the direction of Gomm's long time hero Nick Harper.
This is an album of great beauty, outstanding musicianship and fantastic songwriting. This is an album that is for listening to late at night or on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Like a comfy pair of slippers or your favourite pajamas, there is something warm and comforting about this record.
In the acoustic scene Gomm is revered and quite rightly so. While the likes of Erik Mongrain, Preston Reed and Andy McKee seem to get the column inches, none can match the playing, personality and songwriting ability of Gomm. It may only be January, but is looking like if you only buy one album in 2010..... make it this one.