Science Fiction (Tom Bailey album)

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Science Fiction
Tom Bailey Science Fiction 2018 Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released13 July 2018
Recorded2014–2018
Genre
Length44:10
LabelPledgeMusic
Red River Entertainment
Mikrokosmos
ProducerTom Bailey
Singles from Science Fiction
  1. "Come So Far"
    Released: 2016
  2. "What Kind of World"
    Released: 28 June 2018

Science Fiction is the debut solo studio album by English singer Tom Bailey, best known as the lead singer of pop band Thompson Twins. It was released on 13 July 2018.[1] In addition to the standard release, a limited edition double CD hardback mediabook version of the album was released, featuring a bonus disc with seven alternative versions and remixes along with a companion book.[2]

In a press release of the album's announcement in May 2018, Bailey commented: "I so much enjoyed playing concerts around the world over the last couple of years, that I began working behind the scenes on writing, recording and mixing the songs in this collection. I find it incredibly rewarding to be making pop music again."[3]

Background[edit]

After being seduced back into playing Thompson Twins songs in concert, Bailey became increasingly interested in the challenge of creating new and contemporary songs.[4][5] Despite not being interested in science fiction, Bailey found the concept of using science to shine "new light on old problems" to be a fascinating topic, and found that the songs he had written all shared this theme. After writing the aptly titled "Science Fiction" he realized that it would make a perfect title for the album itself.[4][6]

The futuristic subject matter present in "What Kind of World" was inspired by the death of David Bowie and the visions of Elon Musk. Bailey believed Musk's ambitions to colonize Mars were both intriguing yet troubling. He explained, "His plan to send people to Mars to save the Earth...is sort of an exciting thing, an optimistic thing, [but] I really worry that the idea that Elon's going to send some rich people to Mars means we don't have to save the Earth anymore." "What Kind of World" would serve the purpose of tackling both arguments.[4]

"Come So Far" tells the story of a young man who tries to travel from Afghanistan to London to save his life. It documents what he has to give up–both materially, culturally, and emotionally–in order to make the move.[6]

In 2018, Bailey joined the B-52s and Culture Club on the United States leg of the Life Tour, and Culture Club and Belinda Carlisle on the UK leg, to promote his new album.[4][7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Tom Bailey, excluding "What Kind of World" by Tom Bailey and Hal Ritson.

No.TitleLength
1."Science Fiction"4:18
2."What Kind of World"5:30
3."Shooting Star"4:40
4."Feels Like Love to Me"4:28
5."Blue"3:42
6."If You Need Someone"5:06
7."Ship of Fools"4:03
8."Work All Day"3:16
9."Bring Back Yesterday"5:30
10."Come So Far"3:37
Total length:44:10

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Express & Star6/10 [8]
The Scotsman3/5 stars[9]
The Times2/5 stars[10]
Classic Pop4/5 stars[11]
Louder Than WarFavourable[12]
Cryptic Rock4/5 stars[13]

Science Fiction received mostly positive reviews. Leigh Sanders of Express and Star said the album was filled of "thumping beats and zipped pop hooks" but believed the songs weren't mesmerizing enough. He gave the album a six out of ten.[8]

Wyndham Wallace of Classic Pop found the album to be contemplative, cheerful, and comforting. He felt that "Science Fiction" was reminiscent of the Thompson Twins' single "Hold Me Now" in its "colourful ambitions" and "strong melodies". Wallace named the album "Best New Release" of July 2018.[11]

Ellen Shapiro of Louder Than War agreed that the title track transports listeners back to the 1980s, musically. She named "Come So Far" as her favourite track due to its haunting lyrics and meaning, but also had a fondness for more jazzy songs like "Ship of Fools". She considered Science Fiction to have some of the best production and creativity she had heard, saying that there is "a need to hear it again and again".[12] Alfie Vera Mella of Cryptic Rock shared similar sentiments; giving the album four out of five stars for its "fresh yet familiar" and "sophisticated but frivolous" sounds.[13]

Personnel[edit]

Musicians
Production
  • Tom Bailey - producer
  • Hal Ritson - vocals recorded and produced by, additional programming
  • Robbie Bronnimann - mixing, mastering, additional production
  • Wez Clarke - final mix (1-2)
Additional personnel
  • Lauren Drescher - original artwork
  • Emile Drescher - graphic design
  • Steve Cripps - artwork formatting
  • Steve Dykes - album rear cover photo

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Scottish Albums (OCC)[14] 68

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tom Bailey: Science Fiction". PledgeMusic. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Tom Bailey: Science Fiction on PledgeMusic". Pledgemusic.com. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Tom Bailey Announces Debut Solo Album". Just Listen To This. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Graff, Gary (28 June 2018). "Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey Shares 'What Kind of World' From First-Ever Solo Album: Premiere". billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  5. ^ Beaudoin, Jedd (8 August 2018). "Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey on the Seduction of Nostalgia, Creative Drive, and 'Science Fiction'". popMatters. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b Shapiro, Eileen (29 May 2018). "The Thompson Twins, Tom Bailey: interview". Louder Than War. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  7. ^ "'The Life Tour' – Boy George & Culture Club, Belinda Carlisle, And Tom Bailey From The Thompson Twins To Do 11 Date UK Arena Tour". essentiallypop. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  8. ^ a b Sanders, Leigh (16 July 2018). "Tom Bailey, Science Fiction - album review". Express & Star. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Album reviews: Rick Astley | Tom Bailey | Rab Noakes". The Scotsman. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  10. ^ Will Hodgkinson. "Pop review: Tom Bailey: Science Fiction | Times2". The Times. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  11. ^ a b Wyndham Wallace. "Review: Tom Bailey – Science Fiction". Classic Pop. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  12. ^ a b Eileen Shapiro (27 June 2018). "Tom Bailey: Science Fiction – album review". Louder Than War. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  13. ^ a b Alfie Vera Mella (9 July 2018). "TOM BAILEY – SCIENCE FICTION (ALBUM REVIEW)". Cryptic Rock. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 July 2018.