Tea, Toast & Turmoil

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Compiling stray singles, EPs, compilation tracks, and other assorted ephemera, Tea, Toast & Turmoil is as much a grab bag as it is the definitive statement on Smudge's career -- it's a record as charming, unassuming, and laissez-faire as the band itself, with 18 tracks that cover virtually every facet of their idiot savant pop. Few songwriters have consistently managed the guileless greatness Tom Morgan exhibits across this set: his rough-hewn melodies are as simple as they are infectious, while his lyrics capture the small but vital details of everyday life with uncommon clarity -- "Don't Want to Be Grant McLennan" may in fact be the finest song ever written about writing songs.

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