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REVIEW - Tom Tikka And The Missing Hubcaps - 'Rainbows And Dead Flowers' (Album)

Award winning Helsinki singer-songwriter Tom Tikka returns this month with new album 'Rainbows And Dead Flowers' - another fine blend of stately, moving ballads and punchy power-pop gems. A perfect companion piece to last year's 'Better Man' album, 'Rainbows And Dead Flowers' has more of the same which is certainly no bad thing - expertly crafted songs, a polished, pristine production, affecting lyrics and superb musicianship. It's a varied, classy collection and continues Tom's fine run of releases, both solo with the Missing Hubcaps and with his band with songwriting partner Antti Autio The Impersonators (with whom he writes eleven of the twelve tracks here).

'Rainbows And Dead Flowers' comes in on a gentle note with the title track and its acoustic strum opening leading into an almost country-esque ballad replete with pedal steel. 'Fire And Ice' with its 'whoah, whoah' choruses is the first of a number of perfect pop songs with 'Hieroglyphs' continuing the upbeat feel with brass inflections in a tumbling middle eight providing a little different colour to the proceedings. 'We Won't Be Dust' starts like a 90s Brit-pop mid-tempo anthem and explodes into an anthemic middle with celestial backing vocals and raging guitar while the lush Queen-like ballad 'Something New' - a bit of a hit single - is perfectly counter-pointed by the following soul-stomper 'What Comes Around Goes Around', which will have you dancing in no time. After the melodic 'Dead End Romance' (complete with a stinging guitar solo), the next three tunes - 'The Loveliest Rose', 'Stalemate' and 'New Royalty' finds Tom in full-on pop mode - all three with great choruses and buzzing tunes. The album closes with 'Goodbye' - another wistful ballad and 'Let's Make Love On Sunday' which sees the album out on a plethora of jaunty keyboards and handclaps.

Another great album from Tom Tikka And The Missing Hubcaps, 'Rainbows And Dead Flowers' highlights all Tom's strengths with everything from his superb vocal arrangements, top-notch musicianship, well-crafted songwriting and the ability to turn his hand to a number of varied musical styles and genres to the fore. Lyrically, a number of the songs have a melancholic undertow which contrasts with the upbeat feeling of much of the music to fine effect, but whether aiming for the head and heart with a moving ballad or your feet with a top-drawer pop song, the album never misses its mark. Beginning to make inroads into the singer-songwriter and rock charts in the UK - 'Something New' reaching No.4 in the UK rock charts and 'Fire And Ice' No.10 in the singer-songwriter charts - 'Rainbows And Dead Flowers' is another fine album from this gifted singer-songwriter.

'Rainbow And Dead Flowers' is out now on One Media and available on all the major digital sites.

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