Working as a reviewer who has no real control (pun intended) over what music lands on my sonic desk has a few drawbacks. For all the wonderful unpredictability, lucky finds and eureka moments about ninety per cent of what comes my way falls into the identikit-dance or twee singer songwriter categories, all been done, all been heard before. Thankfully the other ten per cent can be labelled refreshingly cool, brilliantly different and splendidly well thought through. Tom Cameron’s 1403 is definitely in the latter category.
The core of the song is built on plaintive neo-classical piano and his smooth and emotive voice, and even as the bass comes in followed by acoustic guitar and a red-hot guitar play out part, it is those two elements which are what it is really all about. Part pop, part lounge jazz, it is polished yet powerful in all the right places, it tugs heartstrings without playing the schmaltzy card, it is the sound of what happens when you take the idea of writing a sophisticated yet commercially viable pop ballad and give it to someone who really knows how music works.