Albums of interest to the queer communities

Missing / Tom McCormack

Here's an album that's been out for a few years but is still gaining ground and winning over listeners. Singer/songwriter Tom McCormack has a gorgeous voice and a songwriting style that has caused critics to compare him to James Taylor, Tracy Chapman, and Elton John, among others. Myself, I hear a little bit of Jesse Hultberg in his music... but all of these comparisons ring a bit hollow because McCormack has a style and a sound that stands up all on its own. "Missing" is an astounding album that deserves a place in any music collection... regardless of your orientation. These are songs that don't shy away from the sexuality issues that inspired many of them... but that transcend that sexuality and move higher to a place that is uniquely human.... in others words, you don't have to be gay to relate to these tracks.

McCormack weaves tales of falling in love, hiding one's true self... and, most triumphantly, coming out of the closet. Combining beautiful piano music and meaningful lyrics, the song "Coming" is an anthem for coming out of hiding with lyrics like "so you do your job and raise your kids... they fall in love with their boyfriends like you never did."

A delightful roster of talented artists lend a hand on backing vocals and instruments, Patrick Arena, Melinda Di Maio, Grant King and Jeff Krasner, among others. They all come together to provide a tribalistic rhythm to "Home," a track that calls you into its welcoming arms... a place where you are among friends of a similar nature.

McCormack's voice pierces the soul as he sings lyrics rich in raw, honest emotion. He calls out for openness and acceptance in such songs as "In Secret" and the more up-tempo "Love Is Love." If there were any justice in this world, this track would be playing on radio all over the nation. Other songs hold their own here, most notably the title track, "Missing," with its clever lyrical turn about finding that you've "been missing... out on your life."

Tom McCormack's "Missing" is easily one of the best albums I've ever heard. An empowering statement by a very talented artist. Don't let this one slip through your fingers... it's too good to miss!

-- Daniel Jenkins

October 1997

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