Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
on 17 March 2013
Keaton Henson's debut album, Dear, was a delicate heartfelt album of one man, his guitar and a lot of pain and care. This follow up is the sound of him expanding that sound slightly. Its almost like listening to a painfully shy man emerge, gain confidence and then retreat again. Like the man himself? Perhaps. But during this album that's the journey you will hear.
Early on the sound is eerily similar to the first album. Electric Guitar, that voice and not much else on Teach Me and the beautiful 10AM, Gare Du Nord. In fact it comes as a total shock when listening to The Best Today that the delicate approach is enhanced by drums and more noise. It feels that the man himself wants to try and mix things up and Don't Swim follows this and does the job. Starting in the usual mode of vocal and guitar Henson then decides to throw in a loud and brash guitar and drums instrumental piece towards the end of the track. It sounds like something almost Post Rock like. Its a wonderful addition.
Kronos then swaggers into view and could be on any rock album, snarling riffs and loud quiet approach this could be grunge music. Or maybe something Jeff Buckley, Elliott Smith or similar company would consider too brash for their albums when they were making them. The Beekeeper has Banjo, drums and keyboards and sounds a little like some Fleetwood Mac tracks in its composition and chorus - think mid 70's country influenced Fleetwood Mac here though. Gradually though the noise and mood recedes and whilst Sweetheart, What Have You Done To Us has a return to the more introspective approach before horns take over. The deluxe edition contains three extra tracks, two quite quiet and the rather fantastic If I Don't Have To which is another of the new approach numbers. These three extra tracks are as good as anything else here so I would definitely invest the bit extra if you can.
As a second album this is a treat. Its definitely a step forward, a very interesting one too. There is an air of confidence and belief here. It will be interesting to see whether he retreats again or moves more towards the approach of drums and horns alongside his guitar. However, this is as good as the first album and I never thought I would say that.