Tor Miller – American English
American English (Review)
Being relatable has become one of the hardest things youth “pop” stars face today. While putting on this façade of going out and never stopping is some form of reality in the teenage/young adult reality, that’s hardly what defines us as a whole. Yes, the distorted vision sells, but what stays in our memories are lyrics that have truth and meaning.
“Left mom and dad when you were 17
Tore up those jet black jeans
Hopped on a train into a troubled scene
With all the trust fund drug fiends
Who don’t care about the
Don’t seem to care about the American dream
Who don’t care about the American dream”
These are the lyrics to end Tor Miller’s chorus in “Crust Punk Queen”, off his debut album “American English”, which is perfectly titled because Miller’s lyrics are the language or “American English” that define the overpowering youth culture today.
His talent, noted before in previous reviews, has taken a worldwide stage. From the “World’s Hottest Record” on BBC Radio 1 to national and international tour dates and festival appearances, Miller adds a long-awaited debut album into the mix that showcases his versatility and artistry.
Arena bangers like “Surrender” and “Carter & Cash” are catalogued with reflective and toned-back tracks like “Midnight” and “Baby Blue”, making a grab bag of options where you can’t pick a bad one.
What’s most resonant and striking though is the homage to New York with “Chelsea” and “Washington Square Park”, which are stories not constructed from overlooking, but by living.
We are invited to the personal life of Miller through these lyrics, but with this, we are able to attach a name to a face. And more importantly, a face to record, something many artists continue to struggle with and want so desperately. However, by exposing himself to his audience, the connection is that much stronger than just a spin on the radio.
I noted at the end of last year Miller would be one to watch in 2016 and there is absolutely no disappointment with his performance up to this point. “American English” sets the bar high for first-time debuts in 2016 and I expect to see him continually exceed my expectations.