Album Review: Tom Evans- I Am Myself

Aaron ConnMusic, ReviewsLeave a Comment

tom evans i am myself

tom evans i am myselfWhen it comes to the songwriting of power pop legends Badfinger, most of their songs were written by Pete Ham. Bassist/singer Tom Evans also wrote several songs during the band’s original run but would only get two or three songs per an album. While Evans’ talents have been celebrated before and after his untimely death, Evans hasn’t received the treatment that his bandmate Pete Ham has gotten over the last 25 years with posthumous demo collections coming out left and right. That is until now. Just recently, a new collection of Tom Evans demos have been released. The album, I Am Myself, is a solid batch of 21 songs from the late singer/songwriter.

Badfinger were one of the first bands signed to the Beatles’ Apple Records label. In their time together, the band would have hit singles with songs such as “No Matter What,” “Baby Blue” and “Day After Day.” Pete Ham and Tom Evans would also write the ballad “Without You,” which would go on to become a hit single for Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey. Sadly, Badfinger are also infamous for their poor management. Poor record sales and managerial problems would ultimately lead to the suicides of both Ham and Evans in 1975 and 1983. Despite their sad story, Badfinger have been able to attain a cult following and are often thought of as one of the first power pop bands.

Similar to the Pete Ham demo collections, it’s hard to listen to this album like a proper album. These are incomplete songs. Unlike the the previous Pete Ham collections, I Am Myself doesn’t have too many songs that ended up being recorded. Aside from “Fisherman” and “No Escaping Your Love,” all the other songs are brand new for most listeners. Listening to these songs, most of them sound like they had potential to become solid songs. Whether they would’ve fit with Badfinger’s catalogue is another thing. If anything, it’s clear that Tom Evans had a talent for writing songs. Looking at the Badfinger catalogue, he penned some solid tunes: “It’s Over,” “When I Say,” “Maybe Tomorrow,” “Carry On Till Tomorrow” and many more. While Evans only got a few of his song on each album, he is the only member of Badfinger to appear on all ten studio albums (including the lone album under the Iveys name).

When it comes to I Am Myself, there’s a little bit of everything here. Evans had a strong singing voice that could sing wonderful harmonies. This can be heard on songs such as “Hello,” “I Am Myself” and “Good Time Together,” with the last of those sounding reminiscent of the Everly Brothers.  Evans also had a few character/story songs that never saw the light of day. This includes the relaxing luau sounds of “Water Lily,”  the passionate rock n roller “Dancing Girl,” and the jealous “Handsome Malcolm.” As a whole, the songs on I Am Myself have a wit and charm to them. Some of the aforementioned songs have this wit captured but there are others that have it even more. Take a song like “Goldfish”:  the song tells the tale of a man’s goldfish who is fed a diet of “bread, cheese and jam” and gets a bath each day. Then there’s “Wine, Women and Song,” a drinking-styled tune about a wine maker who “marries a lass with no class.” Topped off with some whistling and tambourine, it might be the catchiest song from the album.

I Am Myself is a pleasant collection of tunes that shine a light on the songwriting of Tom Evans. If you’re new to Tom Evans and/or Badfinger, hold off on listening to this. You’re probably better off with a compilation or proper studio album.  If you’re a diehard Badfinger fan, you’re going to appreciate this album.

Rating: 7/10

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Aaron ConnAlbum Review: Tom Evans- I Am Myself