Ben Howard - Every Kingdom (CD)

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    1. Performer
    2. Folk
    Number of Items
    Every Kingdom
    Country of Origin
    Mono / Stereo

    Uncut (magazine) (p.89) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "There's a dreamy wisdom to Howard's simply arranged paeans to past relationships....[He is] an unusually poetic songwriter revelling in his proximity to nature."
    Uncut (magazine) (p.92) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The shimmering finger-picking and angelic backing vocals of 'Old Pine' build a cosy fireside vibe....The whispered midnight prayer of 'Promise,' shadowed by a haunting cello, is a thing of beauty."

    1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Old Pine
    2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Diamonds
    3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] The Wolves
    4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Everything
    5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Only Love
    6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] The Fear
    7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Keep Your Head Up
    8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Black Flies
    9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Gracious
    10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] Promise
    Songs / Tracks
    1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Old Pine
    2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Diamonds
    3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Wolves, The
    4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Everything
    5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Only Love
    6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Fear, The
    7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Keep Your Head Up
    8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Black Flies
    9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Gracious
    10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] Promise
    11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] [CD-ROM Track]
    Pop / Rock
    50m 5s

    Personnel: Ben Howard (vocals, guitar, guitars, melodica, percussion); Chris Bond (vocals, guitars, accordion, keyboards, double bass, drum set, percussion); India Bourne (vocals, ukulele, cello, keyboards).
    Audio Mixer: Mike Crossey.
    Recording information: Assault And battery Studios, London; The Barn, Devon; The Premises Studio, London.
    Photographers: Roddy Bow; Owen Tozer.
    Risking arriving a little too late to the party, Devon-born 23-year-old Ben Howard is yet another young troubadour whose sound appears indebted to the '70s pastoral folk of John Martyn and Nick Drake. His debut album, Every Kingdom, therefore, has its work cut out for it from the offset if it's to make itself heard above similar recent efforts by the likes of Marcus Foster and Benjamin Francis Leftwich. But it's clear from the opening track, "Old Pine," a slow-burning epic that begins with some hushed choral harmonies before building into a strident slice of nu-folk, that this is a more intriguing affair. Indeed, considering that much of the album features nothing more than Howard's intricate fingerpicking guitar skills with the occasional flourishes of cello and percussion, it's remarkable that it's only toward the closing minimal acoustic balladry of "Gracious" and "Promise" that the evocative autumnal vibes begin to lose their appeal. That's partly down to Howard's versatile and intense vocals, which manage to capture the understatement of Jos‚ Gonz lez, the gruffness of Ray LaMontagne, and the soulfulness of James Morrison, without ever sounding like a tribute act, and partly down to the inventiveness displayed throughout its ten tracks, whether it's the military beats, sea shanty melodies, and howling wolf calls on "The Wolves," the burst of grandiose post-rock that interrupts the somber breakup song "Black Flies," or the buoyant campfire singalong of "The Fear." It's not clear whether Howard's stripped-back approach will cross over to the mainstream, as other than "Keep Your Head Up," a slightly more energetic rebel-rousing slice of folk-pop that found its way onto the Radio 1 playlist, its charms are more slow-burning than immediate. But it's an impressively timeless debut that suggests Howard should have no problem standing out from the overpopulated nu-folk crowd. ~ Jon O'Brien

    Source UK (UK)
    Audio Format
    PCM Audio
    Studio / Live
    Video Disabled
    Ben Howard
    Chris Bond
    1. Howard, Ben
    Date Released
    2012-04-01 00:00:00
    Chris Bond
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