By Mat Tanner
Ah, the singer/songwriter. Somehow they've taken over the world, via Radio 2 of course. Thankfully, unlike the other twenty thousand of them all vying for attention after the successes of Blunt, Tunstall, Powter, Fretwell, et al, this isn't too bad.
'The Longest Days' is a perfectly rounded lament, full of strummed minor chords, subtle string sections and melancholic lines about lost love. It's too easy, far too easy, for music like this to slip into cheesy, insipid drivel (e.g. James Blunt) but Tanner manages to make a massive swerve away from the clichéd, simply by being able to write a song that doesn't rhyme "man" with "plan".
Tracks like 'Come With Me' and EP closer 'This Time Around' are lively and upbeat enough to give the EP a shot in the arm, with the former's bouncy drums and lively strumming, and the latter's maybe ill-advised flanged acoustic.
Inbetween those two, we get 'Inbetween', see what he did there? A lovely string-led song, but harking dangerously close to the Blunt factor, with lines like "she's so pretty," but due to Tanner being a bit more articulate about things, he manages to keep from slipping in a chorus of "you're beautiful, you're beautiful, you're beautiful, it's true."
If the musical world has to be taken over by singer/songwriters baring their soul over mournful acoustic guitars, then at least make one of them Mat Tanner.