Review: Invisible Hand by Tom Mullen in MobYorkCity

Sung from his perspective, Mullen sings that the real work being done isn’t from politicians and government, but from the actual people. Don’t believe there ain’t nothing free, he contends. He sings with gratitude and a sense of pride. One interpretation of this song might be to call it a gathering storm. Just as he reminds the listen to follow the golden rule and allow the free market society (hence, the invisible hand) follow its course, a slew warm, melodic guitar riffs bolster his mid-range voice. Just leave it up to supply and demand, he sings. Mullen, a former lead singer/guitarist for the band The Skeptics (not the New Zealand punk band…a different one), might not be a college-age kid anymore, but he can still deliver a rock song. “Invisible Hand” has a sense of maturity embedded in the lyrics, and the polished production. Don’t go and call him an old fuddy-duddy, though, because he’s not that old. His voice still sounds young, still very enthused to be recording. His press materials note his comparisons to Elvis Costello and that’s a pretty spot-on assessment.

“Invisible Hand” communicated to me a feeling of restlessness and the desire to have a whole entire generation learn to wake up. In a trojan horse sort of move, Mullen wraps his words and guitar prowess (and a fine drum arrangement, too) with a shiny shellac. Peeling back the top layer, there is a grit, a blue collar layer to Mullen’s Buffalo, New York-raised vocals and playing. He’s hard working and he’s a realist in so many ways; “Invisible Hand” delivers a perfectly fine story and song that fans of songwriting will admire. The high hat beat pushes through, but it’s the guitar and Mullen’s word that make the most impact.  You believe him – you buy into what he’s saying because he has that genuine voice we haven’t heard since Neil Young. Unlike government spending, he doesn’t add any pork here; it’s a clean, lean song.

Read the whole review here.