Long Way Down - Tom Odell

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 14
  2. Negative: 3 out of 14
  1. Long Way Down has just enough flaws to show that Odell has room to grow and progress. If you listen to one pop album this year, this is a pretty good bet.
  2. Jun 20, 2013
    There's also something a little too contained, cling-filmed and... Keane-ey about it's measured percussion and guitar swells. Which leaves you feeling that although this is a very good record by a very talented young artist, it's probably not a patch on catching him live.
  3. Jun 18, 2013
    Stripped back to vocals, drums and piano not a million miles from Nick Cave's Boatman's Call, of 10 tracks, not one's a duffer. [May 2013, p.87]
  4. Jun 18, 2013
    The most impressive thing about Long Way Down is how, despite being an album based on a simple, almost naïve set of concepts--being in love, falling out of love, the raw emotion of being young and not understanding the world yet--it sounds accomplished well beyond Odell’s years.
  5. Jun 28, 2013
    For Long Way Down is an album that, while often samey and, in the grand scheme of things, says next to nothing, heralds the arrival of a highly talented artist.
  6. Aug 2, 2013
    He's got talent to spare, but at this point he's swimming in an idyllic creek, not a raging river, and no amount of howling will banish demons that have yet to be summoned.
  7. Jun 24, 2013
    Odell has shown his promise but he has yet to prove his range.
  8. Jun 20, 2013
    He may yet rise above the glut of similar-sounding Sheehans, Buggs and Mumfords, but hasn't yet found his voice.
  9. Jun 18, 2013
    For the most part, though, Long Way Down is relentless in its pursuit of a teen audience easily won over by a sensitive man-boy who knows his way around a piano. [May 2013, p.75]
  10. Jun 18, 2013
    There are too many songs here set to the same humdrum pace. But those are the sort of flaws you expect from a debut. [May 2013, p.112]
  11. 40
    Long Way Down is stuffed with bogus sensitivity, crystallisations of emotional disquiet couched in chant choruses, and polite piano arrangements reliant on a few chord-changes.
  12. Jun 24, 2013
    Here on Long Way Down, neither of Odell’s gifts [powerful tenor]--or their intimacy--are given space or time, lost instead in a sea of messy arrangements and a sense that, however fatuous, more must certainly mean better.
  13. Jun 20, 2013
    Odell may well sell a lot of records (though long term, he may not) but as far as art to engage and inspire goes, Long Way Down has precious little to recommend it.
  14. He specialises in staggeringly banal lyrics ("Grow old with me", "When you hold me in your arms I can feel your heart") delivered in an overwrought cry-baby warble, and song structures with big predictable sub-Keane, sub-Arcade Fire crescendos.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jun 18, 2014
    There is some originality that Tom Odell lacks, but that isn't the problem. With a few decent tracks such as "Another Love" it does show that his talent is really only in his singing voice, because Tom Odell's songwriting talents are a bit over cliched and dismal. Sure, his emotional voice can really impact you, but most of the time you can't take him seriously with the over-romanticized and almost shirt-tugging lyrics of songs like "Hold Me" or any other track of the album. Now you might say that Adele does the same thing, but she does it well. What Adele has is impactfullness, you will not be impacted by any song on this album, except for "Another Love". If his goal was to create an emotionally deep album, then this is as deep as a kiddie pool. Tom Odell treads in shallow water, so it really isn't a long way down for him. Full Review »
  2. Sep 10, 2013

    'Again, I repeat: this is not a bad record. I'm sure
    it'll bring pleasure to those who know what they like and who like straight forward singer songwriters who perform with passion. That said, due to the few feathers the album has in its cap in terms of variety, lyrical quality and originality; the album is weaker than it could have been. I think it's a long way up for Tom Odell if he wants to build a career off of this record. 6/10' Full Review »
  3. Jul 5, 2013
    Forget the shallow arguments against Tom Odell, 'Long Way Down' is actually a characteristic debut album with some impressive vocal performances and singalong-inducing melodies. It's not innovative and doesn't bring anything new to the table; but it doesn't even have to. Standouts include 'Another Love', 'Can't Pretend', 'I Know', and 'Hold Me'. Full Review »