With the urge and determination to write a classic 60’s and 70’s record, Tom Tikka teamed up with Minds Behind the Music Record label to release his upcoming “hit after hit” record “Better Man” on May 20, 2022 on all platforms via their mainstream distribution deal with Sony Orchard.
Tom Tikka described “Better Man” as an “Attempt to write one of those records that I grew up with. I thought it’d be nice to try to reproduce some of the magic that the great singer-songwriter albums of the 60s and 70s had – albeit with a modern twist.”
Tom Tikka and The Missing Hubcaps’ 1st record “This Is My Happy Face” included 3 international iTunes hits and he himself is an ISSA Award winner (Emerging Male Artist of The Year) as well as a Josie Music Awards and Hollywood Music in Media Awards nominee. “Better Man” was written all by Tom Tikka except for “Snakebites”, “Replayed” and “Venetian Rubber Boots” which are written by Tom Tikka and Elina Suominen, lead vocals and guitars by Tom Tikka, all other instruments & background vocals by Tom Tikka and Janne Saksa, Produced & arranged by Tom Tikka and Janne Saksa, Mixed and mastered by Janne Saksa at Sound Supreme Studio with Phil Gardiner, Michael Stover, and Elina Suominen as executive producers.
Once you push play, Tom Tikka and The Missing Hubcaps’ “Hello Loneliness” will embrace you with its warm sound and refreshing melodies. It has a certain progression that made it catchy and interesting from the very beginning and I must admit, that harmonized guitar/vocal melodies were really cool. The flow of melodies continues with “The Holy Grail of Truth” which has a haunting “magical” feeling to it. The fluid vocal melody mixed with the keyboards and guitars kept it on repeat for quite some time. Reaching “I’m Done with The Blues” things get more upbeat. With its big, shiny “Christmassy” intro and cheering up melody that’ll send a lot of good vibes your way. Tom Tikka and The Missing Hubcaps keeps the groove going with the bluesy tune “Ain’t Life a Bitch”, a mix of country, blues, and rock n roll with energetic melodies, a rocking solo, some cool slide guitar by Janne Saksa, and a singalong chorus that’ll hype the fans up when played live. “By 2022” is a slow break right in the middle of the record balancing its dynamics. It gives us a look at Tikka’s calm mellow side and shows his diverse songwriting skills although, from my humble POV, using autotune didn’t fit much especially since Tom Tikka has an expressive nice voice. Announcing the end of the break comes “I’ve Got My Mind Set on Leaving You” with its rocking intro that got me off my feet once I heard it. It’s a catchy rocking tune with a lot of classic rock vibes with those screaming guitars and Deep Purple-ish keyboards. Tom Tikka takes us in a more pop direction with “Snakebites”. It has some mellow, refreshing vibes that make it approachable for a wide range of audience. “Venetian Rubber Boots” was the song that started Tom Tikka’s collaboration with Minds Behind the Music Record label; they chose it to be on their upcoming environmental fundraising compilation album to support the fight against climate change. Its smooth dynamics will make you pay attention to the lyrics as it goes from dreamy mellow sounds into a more open and hopeful one, it has some of the best guitar work on the record plus, the guitar/trumpet conversation will simply blow your mind. Tikka picks the groove again towards the end with “Replayed”. It reminded me of a lot of classic rock hits, the groovy melody with the guitar tune were a perfect fit, the vocal harmonies towards the end added a spicy twist to the mix, and the shredding solo showed a lot of Tikka’s guitar abilities while its dynamic structure kept me 100% focused and entertained. Every classic record that we grew up listening to had a grand finale and so does “Better Man” with “Here Comes the Fun”. Tom Tikka decided to end his record as big as it started with an epic sonic trip. “Here Comes the Fun” starts with a stream of sounds and melodies mixed and layered beautifully and progresses with smooth dynamics into a beautifully orchestrated expressive music piece ending this diverse, full of sounds journey and will leave you ready to play “Better Man” all over again from the top.
“Better Man” is a recorded proof of Tom Tikka and The Missing Hubcaps’ top-notch songwriting. With the ability to write hit after hit regardless of the mood, genre, or used instruments, Tom Tikka and The Missing Hubcaps promise an enjoyable ride that’ll leave you with a number of new favorites and waiting for his next release. Cheers!
Don’t miss all previous features for Tom Tikka here.