Tom Freund | Collapsible Plans

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Rock: Adult Contemporary Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Collapsible Plans

by Tom Freund

This CD touches on the finest of the California sound with roots rock, inflections of jazz and the lyrical writing of a folk artist. Produced by Ben Harper with special guest appearances by Jackson Browne and Ben Harper.
Genre: Rock: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Collapsible Plans (Sugar)
4:06 album only
2. Comfortable In Your Arms
4:29 album only
3. Copper Moon
4:52 album only
4. Unwind
3:33 album only
5. Can't Cry Hard Enough
3:28 album only
6. Why Wyoming
4:13 album only
7. Without Her I'd Be Lost
4:16 album only
8. Queen Of The Desert
3:34 album only
9. Concessions
3:05 album only
10. Begin Again
3:49 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
It’s in the seemingly effortless ease with which he delivers his conversational lyrics and mellifluous melodies, this natural magic that is at the heart of Tom Freund’s music. Though he’s well-schooled and widely-traveled in a variety of genres -- from hearftelt folk to buoyant pop to boho jazz to straightforward rock ’n’ roll, and beyond -- Freund ultimately comes across simply as a singer-songwriter with his own singularly distinctive and engaging voice.

Collapsible Plans, Freund’s fourth full-length album, puts that voice -- in terms of both his artistic identity and his evocative singing -- front-and-center. Produced by his longtime friend Ben Harper, and featuring piano and vocal contributions from Jackson Browne on two tracks, Collapsible Plans is Freund’s most focused and fully realized recording to date, combining top-shelf musicianship with the strongest set of songs Freund has yet gathered on a single disc.

”I wanted to make a record for a long time that really felt like ‘a time and a place,’ the way records used to be made,” Freund says. “My last couple were done in different states and with different folks; this one feels very tangible to me and my life at this time. It was great having Ben in the room with me; I trusted his sensibilities as a fellow songwriter.”

Perhaps the most telling aspect of Freund’s songs is that “I just walk away singing them constantly,” Harper observes. “Tom has written consistently strong songs for as long as I’ve known him.”

They’ve known each other for nearly two decades, and in 1992 recorded the limited-release Ben Harper & Tom Freund LP Pleasure And Pain, which helped to launch Harper’s career. Freund subsequently spent several years playing bass with acclaimed roots-rock band the Silos before striking out on his own with North American Long Weekend, his 1998 solo debut on the Mercury subsidiary Red Ant Records.

Since then, Freund has alternated between recording and touring behind his own discs (2001’s Sympatico and 2005’ s Copper Moon, plus a couple of EPs) and playing upright bass, electric bass guitar, and mandolin with the likes of British pub-rock great Graham Parker and rising groove-soul sensation Brett Dennen. (You’ll even find him on a couple of tracks from pop star Mandy Moore’s 2007 disc Wild Hope.)

A 2006 summer tour with Harper helped rekindle the old friends’ collaborative spirits, which led to Harper getting involved as producer of Collapsible Plans. “I’ve always been a fan of Tom’s work, and I thought that I had something to bring to Tom sonically that was maybe a place he hadn’t stepped into yet,” Harper says.

Two tracks on Collapsible Plans feature the unmistakable piano and vocal contributions of Browne, who Freund had recently met at a show. “Jackson and I were both asked to perform at a benefit for our friend Wally Ingram in the Hollywood Hills,” Freund recalls. “I got up and started to play ‘Why Wyoming,’ which I had just written, and by the second verse I hear this amazing piano, and then by the second chorus I hear these amazing vocals. I turn around, and there is Jackson, like an old friend, jamming on my little song as if we had done it a thousand times before!”

The songs on Collapsible Plans also benefit greatly from the musicianship of Harper, who played lap steel and sang backup on many tracks as well as adding occasional touches of percussion, vibes, Wurlitzer, mandocello, and harmonium. Others who contributed to the recording include guitarist Michael Ward and keyboardist Jason Yates of Harper’s band the Innocent Criminals, as well as drummer Michael Jerome and keyboardist Fil Krohnengold.

Their playing provides an exquisite and fitting frame for Freund’s captivating compositions. “What really brought me to wanting to work with Tom in the studio is his songs,” Harper concludes. “It doesn’t have to even go any further than that. As far as I’m concerned, who wouldn’t wanna work with him in the studio? Because the songs are there.”


\"Every year the mounting landfill of new releases that threatens to bury the working music journalists yields a few unexpected gems, and Tom Freund is one of them.\" - THE NEW YORK TIMES

\"A fitting soundtrack to \'On the Road\': Gorgeous wide-open spacious scenes, explorations of the young heartand quests from personal truth unfold in its literate, rootsy songs.\" -NEW YORK POST

\"Freund clearly delights in enigma. His vocals could go from laconic to impassioned without such obvious trickery as cranking up the volume. His lyrics are full of curveballs.\" - WASHINGTON POST

\"Journeyman Freund is soundtrack ready. He made an album that is all at once addictive, stylistically diverse and honest to the core.\" -MSNBC

\"An organic collection of songs and stories, breathing with an acoustic richness and lyrics that capture slices of Americana in a way that many attempt, yet very few actually master.\" - NO DEPRESSION

\"If Tom Petty and Nick Drake had a love child.\" - BLOGCRITICS.COM

\"Tom Freund is indeed one of the great singer-songwriters. He constructs a unique world, defines it, and then burns it to the ground. Truly unique and absolutely brilliant.\" - ALL MUSIC GUIDE

\"I get shivers down my spine on almost every tune. Along with Lucinda Williams, Freund is the best singer/songwriter operating today.\" - GRAHAM PARKER

** GET ON TOM\'S EMAIL LIST: and tell him what city you are in



to write a review

Kim Smith

Collapsible Plans
This is a great album ,I heard Tom play live at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia. Great proformance Tom . One of the highlights.So I decided there and then that I had to get the album and thanks to CD Baby I was able to purchase it and I just Love it .Keep up the good work .Cheers from Aussie and Thank you.

Ben Gibbons

Great tunes...
Caught Tom at Byron Bay, Australia for the 2009 Bluesfest Music Festival. Tom was amazing and inspired me to pick up his albums. Really great songwriting arranged into really fantastic songs...a truly memorable album...make sure you get back to Byron Tom as can't wait to catch you in concert again.

Jessie Patterson

My new favorite album!
I heard the song 'Collapsible Plans' by chance one night flipping through channels with my husband. I believe it was on Late Night with Carson Daly (not sure though.) We stopped and were mesmerized by the music, the lyrics, & his sound. I got online the next day & immediately ordered this cd. We have since listened to the entire cd countless times. This is not a one hit wonder...where you buy the album based on one song & are subsequently disappointed...every song is worth listening to. We are both Ben Harper fans and while there are similarities between the two, He definitely stands on his own! Thank you so much for writing & playing 'real' music again!

Paul Alves

Collapsible Plans
We haven't heard songs like these for decades!! Mega Brilliant songs melody, voice and duos. A Huge thanks for sharing feelings through your songs, must also congratulate Ben who is a legend! Thank you and hope to see you both in concert (europe)Eurockéennes de Belfort at some point!

Americana UK

Those ‘Albums of the Year’ lists all need re-writing…
Those ‘Albums of the Year’ lists all need re-writing…

Having been on the scene for a couple of decades and having toured and recorded with the great and the good, it’s with this, his fourth solo venture, that Tom Freund seems to have painted his masterpiece. Produced by friend Ben Harper who also contributes musically throughout (along with some guest appearances from Jackson Browne), there’s a rare and natural magic at work here. Freund mines a consistently rich vein of thoughtful, considered and intelligent songwriting, complimented by some wonderful upright bass sounds, slide guitars, ukuleles and Wurlitzer organs, culminating in a rich, typically atmospheric, classic Americana mood. With something of a diverse range on display here, "Without Her I’d be Lost" (“..she’s esoteric & dark, just the way I like ‘em…") is by turns lyrically smart, tender and plaintive, awash with subtle, beautiful intertwining guitars and a dream-like pillow of a chorus. Among a ridiculously lengthy list of stand-outs, "Comfortable in Your Arms" sounds like a mildly ‘tired & emotional’ Ryan Adams stumbling accidentally into a prog-jazz club (if such a thing exists) at 3am. Then the politics/baseball analogies of the superb "Concessions" resonate plainly when discussing war and 9/11 in particular (“...The ruler of the free world is gonna bat for all of us..” "Can’t Cry Hard Enough" starts with insistently sad pianos, achingly similar for a while to Morrissey’s "I’ve Changed My Plea To Guilty", before growing into a moving piece of heartbroken beauty all its own. It’s somehow typical of a collection that opts for emotional honesty, warmth and the many facets of humanity rather than posturing and artifice.

With a voice that sometimes suggests Jeff Tweedy’s fractured & resigned emotive qualities and also a strong melodic sensibility, but with a warm tone all his own, Freund is a believable, witty and magnetic narrator. All drawing you into these wonderfully realised songs that all hang together expertly.

Without even a weak moment, never mind a weak song, through its blissfully enjoyable 40 minutes, "Collapsible Plans" often sails pretty close to whatever perfection might be like.

Date review added: Thursday, December 11, 2008
Reviewer: Ian Fildes
Reviewers Rating:
Related web link: Artist Website

Andrew Brown

A truly solid album!
This is one of best albums I've heard in a while. The instrumental pieces are absolutely remarkable. It is really original stuff and Tom is an incredible writer. It was a great production with Ben. Dude, just keep writing and playing, it's solid stuff. Thanks.

Ben Harper

note from producer
Tom Freund / Collapsible Plans

by Ben Harper

I have been moved by Tom\'s music since the first note we played together in my family\'s music store after closing time -- just he and I with two guitars until the morning hours.

He was the first person I had ever heard that was my age, writing songs of his own, and they were amazing.

Tom is an extraordinarily soulful multi-instrumentalist, Ben Harper & Tom Freund - Pleasure and Pain and also a one take phenom when it comes to recording, making my role as producer that much easier, enabling us to complete recording for \"Collapsible Plans\" in under ten days.

A few of the songs on this record have been previously released, but I felt the record would be best served with not just new material, but also some of Tom\'s strongest material from the past… These are songs that deserve the entire world as an audience, and I didn\'t want to let the potential of that chance get away with \"Collapsible Plans.\"

I appreciate and thank everyone at .net for checking this out, and for making this site what it is.