Wichita KS

MISSING subtly haunting, beautiful

Singer/songwriter Tom McCormack's new Spotted Dog Records release, Missing, is a subtly haunting and strangely beautiful epic recording.

McCormack's rare honesty and forthright lyrics, combined with his sparse yet full piano, illustrate everything right about independent music today.

In an era where most so-called insdependent music is little more than loud guitars and screeched lyrics, McCormack is a rare find. He manages to bridge the ever-widening gap between adult-contemporary and alternative (whatever that may be) with his soothing baritone and hook-filled musicianship.

Missing, McCormack's third album, is a must for fans of folk-tinged pop.

What is especially compelling about Missing are McCormack's painfully emotive, and equally joyous, lyrics. Though McCormack is an open homosexual, his music is not merely relatable to the gay and lesbian community.

Quite to the contrary, McCormack writes of love and loss, whether it be gay or straight, in an evocative, almost poetic sense. Equally applicable to people of all persuasions.

In "Coming," a paean to a lesbian who discovers her true identity late in life, McCormack sings: You raise your kids (and) they fall in love with their boyfriends like you never did... whenever you make love you make another new regret."

McCormack is very open about his own sexuality but not in anovert of offesive manner. His lyrics never preach or lay blame. Nor do they apologize.

Missing is powerfully done, richly orchestrated and familiarly quirky. McCormack is one of the more gifted singer/songwriters performing today, gay or straight.

And, gay or straight, he shouldn't be overlooked.

-- Jason Curtis

February 16, 1996

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