Not being a prolific reviewer, something has to make me feel passionate to write about it. This album has now won the Mercury Music Prize and there is much being written about it, most of which is good. Overall, there is a lot of pretentious spewing, both favourable and some not so. Just look at some of the nonsense on metacritic.
I will not demand you buy this, I will not tell you how empty your life will be without it but I will not tell you how dreadful it is either.
I feel inspired to share my opinion though, which as you have already probably guessed, is that I think it is outstanding.
It is not an easy first listen. It feels slightly disjointed and awkward at times. The vocals are unusual but they just do it for me. The lyrics are clever in places and slightly bizarre in others but allow for your own interpretaton. As familiarity with the album grew, so did my appreciation of its beauty.
It's not a particularly lively album, you won't be dancing around the living room listening to it or sticking it on to liven up a party. I actually prefer listening to it when I'm on my own.
The songs and interludes cover love, loss, pain and life. It is a wistful, emotional listen and progresses impressively throughout. It is an album that I listen to from start to finish, repeatedly.
There are also dips into modern culture. If you love the film 'Leon', you will love 'Matilda'. 'Taro' covers the fabled love of 2 war photographers. Rarely does an album make me look into the story behind songs in the way I have with Taro and Capa.
To say this is forging a new music genre is perhaps overstating things. There are hints of other bands in here. To say they are the best British band since Radiohead is obviously dependant on your perspective but if there is any love, pain or loss in your life and these songs connect with it, you will not be able to stop listening to it.
I, for one, cannot stop listening to it and that is rare for me with a new album these days.
I hope you get it, it gets you and you get it.