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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A second album less beautiful and haunting than the first
This second album by Ben Christophers isn't nearly as memorable as the first, which must rank as one of the most beautiful and haunting albums of the past decade. That's not to say that this album isn't excellent, it just doesn't hit the heights as often as the first one. The one track that fulfils all the potential displayed on the first album, is the final track, The...
Published on 5 Nov 2001 by M. Brown

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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another new Jeff Buckley
True, Christophers voice peaks and troughs like that of Buckley, to whom he is often compared, but to my mind it peaks and troughs on songs that lack the strength or wit of Buckley. Spoonface is an ambitious album, but lacks achievement.
If you want a new Jeff Buckley you'd be better of trying Mark Mulcahy.
Published on 22 Feb 2002 by Darryl Still


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A second album less beautiful and haunting than the first, 5 Nov 2001
By 
M. Brown (Cardiff United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spoonface (Audio CD)
This second album by Ben Christophers isn't nearly as memorable as the first, which must rank as one of the most beautiful and haunting albums of the past decade. That's not to say that this album isn't excellent, it just doesn't hit the heights as often as the first one. The one track that fulfils all the potential displayed on the first album, is the final track, The Opium Willows, which is just Ben and his guitar. His voice soars to amazing heights, displaying a beautiful kind of agony. It's both terrifying and seductive. And this is the conundrum in which Ben's genius best operates. There aren't enough slower moments on this album to really satisfy, to really allow his voice to soar. One thinks back to 'Before The Winter Parade' and 'Skyscraper' from the first album, where his falsetto carved some of the most wonderful arcs ever heard in music. There is a more minimalist sense of melody on the 'Spoonface' album, shown most strikingly on the title track, where Ben sings the same few notes over and over again till an orchestra comes crashing in, completely obliterating his vocal and the backing track itself, before it moves off and leaves him murmuring the same mysterious words: 'Spoonface Jesus spitting rhythms/Oh my God you're ugly now'. The track 'Transatlantic Shooting Stars' is surprisingly - and it has to be said, unbecomingly - poppy. The less cluttered tracks on the album are the most successful. 'Falls Into View' is just piano/vocal; it isn't as strikingly beautiful as the piano/vocal track from the first album, 'Always', but it's impressive nevertheless. 'The Stream' has a convincingly numb feel to it; it hooks the listener in its hypnotic, abstract groove. 'Hooded Kiss' has almost a mantra feel to it, as Ben repeats the same lines over and over again (You've got shipwrecker's eyes / And all a cutting stingray smile). 'Easter Park' starts off simply and movingly before descending into a compellingly turbulent wave of noise, Ben's words deliberately getting buried in the mix. Once again, David Kosten does a striking job with the sonic architecture of the album - it is this as much as Ben's songs and voice that give his music a completely original and untainted feel. It's hard not to feel that this is music for the twenty first century, rather than music left over from the last century. For those unfamiliar with the first album, it will probably be a completely satisfactory work. For those who have awaited this album eagerly, it will meet with approval, but with a little disappointment that the drama and electrifying beauty of the first album is less evident here, only fully allowed to surface on the magnificent final track. It's an album worth having for 'The Opium Willows' alone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, 20 Jan 2006
By 
Mr. D. S. Cooke "Cookie" (Totnes, Devon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spoonface (Audio CD)
I decided to write a review for this album after i re-found it in my collection. it has recently been used in the Channel 4 (more 4) advert for the IraqiWar season. the advert is soldiers with clown make up on... you know the one... and the track 'falls into view' is used. What a great choice by channel4!!
This album is one of those albums that carries, by word of mouth from one set of friends, to another. The number of people who i've told about the album and have gone out and bought it themselves is astounding.
it's a rgeat album, his voice is beautiful. it's not great, it's not perfect, in the traditional sense of the word, but it couldn't be better for the music he writes. it has dry hush to it and a delicate projection. it's like he whispering a story.... in song form.
The music he creates is haunting and beautiful. he works the melodies and harmonies into swooping soundscapes and shuffling, guitar driven, tunes. the album is mixed perfectly and the songs sit next to eachother with a comfortable ease. comparisons to perhaps Elliott Smith, Damien Rice and the like are well founded but dont do Ben justice. he's so much more. he's unique.
as time out magazine put it:
"so beautiful you have to catch your breath"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, evocative, inspiring, 4 Feb 2002
By 
This review is from: Spoonface (Audio CD)
Music that is so personal, it touches a chord within oneself. And yet you want to share it with everyone and to shout out loud; "Listen to this guy!"
Ben Christophers voice is truely remarkable and certainly unique.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Spoonface, 2 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Spoonface (Audio CD)
Two years on from his spellbinding debut album 'My Beautiful Demon', Ben Christophers manages to work his magic again and enthrall the listener with his emotive lyrics, haunting melodies and experimental sounds.

From the poppy sounds of 'Leaving My Sorrows Behind' and 'Transatlantic Shooting Stars', to the quiet simplicity of 'Falls into View' and the spine-tingling grace of 'The Opium Willows', Ben's unique and fragile voice captivates the listener and leaves them hungry for more.
Ben is not simply a singer/songwriter, he is a musician in every sense of the word. Whilst comparisons to Thom Yorke, Jeff Buckley etc, are sadly inevitable, they fail to do justice to Ben's unique, yet sadly underrated talent.
Like 'My Beautiful Demon', 'Spoonface' is an emotional journey, but one well worth taking as it shows a true progression in Ben's musical style and influences.
My advice: buy this album NOW!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful stuff, 4 July 2003
By 
Linda Stark (Lauzerte, France) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Spoonface (Audio CD)
Excellent CD, I loved it from the word go. There is a wonderful haunting quality to these songs, especially Hooded Kiss, which stays with you for a long time. This guy
is a wonderful songwriter, and I hope we hear more from him soon.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous - where's he been all my life?, 22 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Spoonface (Audio CD)
I was reading the local freebie newspaper on the bus to work. The gig listings mentioned one Ben Christophers and followed up with an article full of superlatives. I couldn't resist this, and bought 'Spoonface' immediately. What an incredibly new and innovative work it is. From the opening track 'leaving my sorrows behind' you just know this album is going to take you all over the place -dark, intelligent lyrics and a voice that hovers between Jeff Buckley and Tom McRae. All this is threaded together with some unusual crisp, punchy beat cycles. 'Falls into view' and 'Opium Willow' demonstrate a mastery of subtle but eerie electronic vapour trails, almost at times as if you're listening to this album on a crackly old radio. That's the beauty of Spoonface. It never stands still. Absolutely beautiful. Don't hesitate to buy it. And anything else he's done.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concave floundering - nice., 6 April 2002
This review is from: Spoonface (Audio CD)
The cynical voices can be heard for miles. “Spoonface?!? That’s a ridiculous title!” And perhaps they have a point. However, conduct this simple science experiment and the true meaning of the title will be revealed. Stare at your reflection in a moving spoon. One minute you look like a rugby ball, the next minute a hot dog. Now think of the spoon as a physical manifestation of the music. From one angle you hear a series of fragile and emotional Jeff Buckleyesque vocal performances. Move the spoon to the other side of your face and you’re confronted with harsh and abrasive minimalist electronica. The changing reflection on the ‘spoonface’ must represent musical ecleticism. Genius! And then you realise that your bold experimentation was a complete waste of time because in the gorgeous title track Ben is sprouting absolute guff about a “Spoonface Jesus spitting rhythms.” Huh??
Nonetheless, Christophers’ debut album ‘My Beautiful Demon’ made for compulsive listening, his gentle acoustic guitar songs were accompanied by the slightest and eeriest of beats. Whilst much of ‘Spoonface’ covers similar ground it is a more varied effort. ‘Transatlantic Shooting Stars’ and ‘Leaving My Sorrows Behind’ are catchy mid-tempo pop songs and the stand-out ‘Hooded Kiss’ features lush cyclical guitar rhythms, swampy basslines and a great tune to boot. Christophers has a fantastic voice although it is probably better suited to the slower songs in which he is given more space to demonstrate his vocal ability. All in all, possibly the most concave record of the year.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another new Jeff Buckley, 22 Feb 2002
By 
Darryl Still "daxvondrac" (Bucks) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spoonface (Audio CD)
True, Christophers voice peaks and troughs like that of Buckley, to whom he is often compared, but to my mind it peaks and troughs on songs that lack the strength or wit of Buckley. Spoonface is an ambitious album, but lacks achievement.
If you want a new Jeff Buckley you'd be better of trying Mark Mulcahy.
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Spoonface by Ben Christophers (Audio CD - 2001)
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