“Tommy Henriksen” by Tommy Henriksen (1999 Self-Titled Album)  » Music  »
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  • Considering the genre of Tommy's solo material, I did not honestly expect to like it, but definitely wanted to give it a try, if only for the purpose of showing support for a musician who seems to have a lovely personality as well as a great deal of talent
  • Since none of his other songs could be found online, I decided to purchase his self-titled debut album for an extremely low price on Amazon
  • This one took a bit longer to grow on me since I dislike country and bluegrass more than I dislike pop
  • I've noticed this when he acts as Alice Cooper's back-up vocalist, as well
  • And when you consider how many aspects of creating this album he was involved in (writing, vocals, guitar, bass, other minor instruments, producing, engineering)

    • by ScarletHorizon
      TRUSTWORTHY

      all reviews
      Before I review this album, it is important to mention that I don’t typically listen to this style of music. I’m a metalhead and also listen to a lot of gothic music, but every once in a while I’ll end up listening to something completely unexpected and far outside of my musical comfort zone. That said, I’ll also mention right off the bat that this review is a favorable one.

      With that out of the way, let’s begin with the quick facts and details of how I came to buy this album: In 1999, Tommy Henriksen was an up-and-coming singer-songwriter. In 2011 (at the time of this review), he is, in addition to being a successful producer and songwriter, one of the touring guitarists for Alice Cooper.

      And that’s how I, little miss metalhead, discovered Tommy. Alice Cooper’s music is a bit more up my alley. But when I attended his “No More Mr. Nice Guy” tour in August of 2011, I was very intrigued by the young, enthusiastic, and very energetic guitarist who backed him up. So intrigued that I quickly went online after returning from the concert and looked up the names of the current band members. I wanted to know who this young guitarist was and what else he had done. His energy and excitement had captivated me so much during the show that my eyes hardly ever left him; I was watching him almost more often than Alice Cooper himself! He looked like he was having so much fun (especially during the song that happens to be my favorite), and because of that, he was also a lot of fun to watch. His sort of enthusiasm for music is infectious.

      I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to recognize his face since I had been sitting in the balcony at the show. I didn’t know if his hair would be the same in the photo, or any other recognizable


      attributes would be visible, or even if this section of alicecooper.com was current, since the band members are ever-changing. But when I looked at the photo captioned with the name Tommy Henriksen, I saw the look of pure joy and excitement on his face, and I knew it had to be the right guy. In addition, the summarizing paragraph referred to him as “a fountain of creativity and enthusiasm!” [punctuation unchanged]. Yep, definitely him.

      It was this exact enthusiasm and obvious love for music that made me so curious when I heard that he had released some solo albums in the past, and had a hit song in 1999. That hit was “I See the Sun,” which was featured in the movie “Blast From the Past” starring Brendan Fraser and subsequently made it to #34 on the Adult Top 40 chart.

      Considering the genre of Tommy’s solo material, I did not honestly expect to like it, but definitely wanted to give it a try, if only for the purpose of showing support for a musician who seems to have a lovely personality as well as a great deal of talent. I looked up that hit single, “I See the Sun,” on YouTube. At first, I wasn’t a fan, but later that night, after only listening to it once, it was stuck in my head. I listened to the little earworm a few more times and found myself really enjoying it. This song is very catchy and upbeat, and the vibe is a very happy one.

      Since none of his other songs could be found online, I decided to purchase his self-titled debut album for an extremely low price on Amazon.

      It was much as I expected: too poppy for my taste, and a bit too rap-inspired. There is not a great deal of hip-hop inspiration (unlike Tommy’s recent material), but any at all is generally too much for me. The first track, “If I Could,” made me think of the music Sugar Ray had out around the same time, although I can’t really vouch for this being an accurate resemblance since I haven’t heard Sugar Ray in probably a decade.

      But I did say this was a favorable review, and it is. The elements of hip-hop inspiration throughout the album are something I could have done without, but there are also high points to it; and while I didn’t like that much of it to begin with, most of the tracks grew on me after a few listens.

      I have to say that I really like track 9, “When She Comes.” This was the first song that really began to grow on me. It was only on the second listen that I began to love this song. It’s not a ballad by any means — in fact, the tempo isn’t even very slow — but the vibe is rather mellow and sensual. To be entirely honest, this song is sexy. The lyrics put very sensual images in my head, my favorites being the second verse (”Afraid of the night / a fear that I miss / I go to the light / and I wait for your kiss”) and the pre-chorus (”Come see me, complete me, convince me, outside / come near me, control me, come heal me inside”). I could have done without the female whispering in some parts of the song, although in other parts I have to admit it adds to the sexy mood. I added this one to my MP3 player, and when I can’t sleep, I put it on repeat and it mellows me out - and it might even inspire good dreams.

      Track 3, “Uneasy Street,” is the most unexpected and unique track on the album, with a worldly sound inspired by (correct me if I’m wrong) tribal African music. Although it again has that almost-rap sound in the “spoken” lyrics at the beginning, the tribal ...


      drums and especially the chanting are unique, exotic, endearing… and enjoyable. I would probably use this song for a bellydance soundtrack. I also like Tommy’s use of his lower register on this one (as well as on “Heaven Only Knows”) while on a good deal of the album he is singing significantly higher.

      There isn’t an enormous melding of genres on the album, but you certainly can’t say that every song sounds the same. Track 4, “One Voice,” also adds to the variety with a lot of whistling, and a bit of bluegrass flair, supported by a fiddle and what sounds like a banjo during the verses. This one took a bit longer to grow on me since I dislike country and bluegrass more than I dislike pop; but it is such a happy-sounding song I can’t help but be in a good mood when listening to it.

      In fact, this entire album would be a good thing to listen to if you are feeling down and need a mood-lifter. Not only is the music often upbeat and happy, but the lyrics are strangely optimistic (”I See the Sun,” “Heaven Only Knows”) and inspirational, sometimes even in a religious sense (”One Voice,” “Beyond Life”). But if you aren’t religious, don’t let songs like those turn you off; the religious aspect is downplayed enough that it shouldn’t bother anyone.

      Track 5, “Right Here By My Side,” is another one that I ended up liking much more than I did on the couple of listens. Again, this one is a bit slower and on the mellow side, but with much more of an R&B flare. This album has definitely gotten me listening to styles of music I never really thought I would, and while I’m not going to go out and listen to other artists of these genres, I will unashamedly continue listening to (and enjoying) this album from time to time.

      Now as for Tommy’s singing. There

      are many times when I am not a fan of his accent or enunciation. But he does have a pretty solid voice and is especially good with high notes, which are present on a great deal of the tracks. His voice is slightly raspy in the lower register, but on the high notes it’s as clear as a bell. I’ve noticed this when he acts as Alice Cooper’s back-up vocalist, as well. The highest note I’ve noticed on this album happens to be during the chorus of my favorite track (”When She Comes”), and when I heard it for the first time, I literally said out loud, “Wow!” If I’m not mistaken, the note is E5. Although I don’t actually like really high notes, I am still rather impressed when a man can hit such a note without screaming. And he does not sound like he’s screaming when he does it; maybe struggling a tiny bit, but his voice is still clear and crisp, almost like a soprano’s. I am not sure if he’d consider it a compliment that I just compared him to a female vocalist, but since he wrote the song himself, I am hoping he would. I did mean it as one.

      One thing I love about Tommy’s songs is what’s going on in the background; the backing elements, both instrumental and vocal, are often the most interesting things in the song, which I find very cool. I love listening to every element of a song and hearing new things in the background each time. It’s important to note that Tommy wrote 100% of every song on this album, at least according to the credits, and these background elements really speak for his skill as a songwriter. And when you consider how many aspects of creating this album he was involved in (writing, vocals, guitar, bass, other minor instruments, producing, engineering…) it’s pretty obvious that Tommy is a very talented man. And then, of course, there’s that enthusiasm!




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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in August, 2011. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1431081526621031/k2311a0831/8.31.11
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