The voice you’ve heard in the bands TesseracT and White Moth Black Butterfly now has an album bearing his own name. Daniel Tompkins’ solo debut is called Castles.
While the term castle may conjure up an image of a fortress, in my mind the castle here is a symbol for individual autonomy in a relationship. Who do we let visit the castle? Who gets to stay around for the long term? Are we still in control of events or do we need to cede some power to the other party?
I’ve always admired songwriters who dare to dive a little deeper in describing humans and their interactions. Mr. Tompkins does that here as he looks beyond the basic love/hate tropes.
People crave interplay, of being a part of something, of being wanted by others. And these relationships aren’t always smooth.
The musical dynamics on this album reflect the human dynamic – sometimes things are delicate and gentle, sometimes things are more forceful and passionate.
My favorite track on the album is the strongest and most forceful, Kiss. It is placed right in the middle of the album, and it is the apex of the whole. It has a massive beat that never obscures Mr. Tompkins’ vocals.
The vocals are treated with respect on all the album’s songs. They are to the front so that the singer’s style and range shine forth. To me, Daniel is an alternative Adam Lambert.
The music here has electronic elements that add depth, and the instrumentation works well with the vocals.
From a music fan’s point of view, Castles is an enjoyable, entertaining listen. The components of sound and lyrics work well together.
I know some folks love to put music into genres, so for those people, I’ll give them a genre for this album – modern human.
The digital edition I was given for review included reworkings of selected tracks.
2. Black The Sun
8. Black The Sun (Head Rework)
9. Limitless (ft Dmitry Stepanov)
10. Kiss (ft Randy Slaugh)
11. Saved (ft Acle Kahney)
12. Saved (ft Paul Ortiz)
13. Saved (ft Randy Slaugh)