REVIEW: Tomi Thomas – Hopeless Romantic EP

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Once in a while – actually like once every six months, Thomas deems us earthlings worthy of his sonic magic and drops bombs on us like Funk Flex in the 90’s. A body of work has been more scarce though. Over the past 10 years, this super-talent has only released three bodies of work.

Thus, Hopeless Romantic is as much an evidence of Thomas’ talent as it is a mirror of what could have been while harboring hopes of more consistent releases. The deep Caribbean roots of this EP is sufficient to deem it Reggae-Fusion.

Over the past two-three years, Thomas has prepared minds for this side to his evolution in ways that flex his documented range.

Made In Lagos was wholly centred around amorous themes from a Caribbean act and with better songwriting, it would probably sound like Hopeless Romantic.’ The difference is how Thomas approaches every beat – with care, furtive incision and precise sonic revs. The only problem is that ‘Hopeless Romantic’ as a title doesn’t properly reflect what this EP represents – even though love sits at its core.

The success of this EP is actually propelled by Thomas’ delivery and his ability to punctuate the most impossible pockets with rhyme schemes – like a rapper. While he’s grown and mostly sticks to using his vocals as necessary, he still flexes his vocal range around 1:25 on ‘Hopeless Romantic.’

Across the EP, his mood is mostly tentative as he ponders different futures for different love stories. He is also happy as he savours the essence of celebratory love.

While ‘Hopeless Romantic’ doesn’t necessarily articulare the whole essence of this EP, songs like ‘Love Me Now,’ ‘Hopeless Romantic’ and ‘Waiting’ are hopelessly romantic. While those records are high on masculinity, they also project Thomas as an expressive big baby type of man who wears his heart on his sleeve and sees love as a necessity in life.

Even though he reveals other things like being the only son of his mom on ‘Love Me Now,’ it almost feels like he sees the type of love he sings about as the centre of his universe.

All the songs on this EP also have strong airplay appeal and commercial viability but ‘Gogo Dancer’ and ‘Waiting’ sound more ‘single-worthy. ‘Gogo Dancer’ might need to feature Walshy Fire and Popcaan to truly come alive though.

However, Thomas’ EP sequence could have been better to tell a better story. Perhaps something like this;

Interestingly, ‘Waiting’ shares similar riffs with Vector’s ‘Early Momo.’

Themes and Delivery: 1.9/2

Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 2/2

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