Chris T-T – Love Is Not Rescue

posted 22 Mar 2010, 02:15 by Joe Richardson   [ updated 22 Mar 2010, 02:27 ]

[Xtra Mile Recordings]

Released: 15th March 2010

by Fred Palmer

Urban poet and cult favourite, Chris T-T, celebrates life, love and regret in “Love Is Not Rescue”, his seventh studio album. Abandoning the rockier elements of his previous album “Capital” in favour of a more acoustic, indie sound, the underground star attempts to confirm his status as a 21st century Robert Burns.


There is no denying T-T’s artistic talent, nor his musical ability. Throughout the album he alternates between playing piano, electric and acoustic guitar and his confident vocal performance brims with passion and charm. His lyrics are generally well-crafted and infused with romance, humour and acute observations. The opening track, “Nintendo” encompasses all of these positive features, as does the toe-tapping “Elephant In The Rome”, a beautiful composition that tells of inner-city mundaness, shattered dreams and regrettable life choices (“I forgot how to cook my dinner/Bought it in a packet and it tasted of boiled boredom/I forgot I was born a winner/Gave you all my good ideas/You ignored them”). In such strikingly poetic tracks, Chris T-T seems to take inspiration from simple, every-day routines as well as personal anxieties regarding the breakdown of relationships and the collapse of dreams.


However, the sad fact is that T-T ultimately fails to uphold this quality throughout the entire album. For every decent track on Love Is Not Rescue, there appears to be a dud. Such tracks include the title track, “Love Is Not Rescue”, which incorporates a grating organ instrumental that turns the simple act of listening to the track into a painful ordeal. Similarly, the overly twee, though admittedly catchy, “Market Square”, represents another unfortunate misfire, in which our eponymous lyrical laureate sings about his desire to own a pet bunny rabbit, resulting in what ultimately comes across as a nursery school sing-song. Perhaps such elements may be interpreted as having poetic underlying meaning. However, on a superficial level, they just seem like poor additions to what should really be a great indie album.


All in all, Chris T-T’s renown and acclaim are clearly well-earned, his unique talents shining through spectacularly within certain tracks on the album. However, in general terms, “Love Is Not Rescue is something of a letdown. Few of the tracks prove to be particularly memorable, while others utterly bomb. In the end, T-T comes across as a charming street busker - an urban talent whose music you might admire in passing, but which ultimately is not worth parting with your spare change for.