Sometimes you come across something that goes above and beyond all your expectations. This is that something.
BENJAMIN CLEMENTINE AT LEAST FOR NOW (Universal)
Don’t ask me how. I don’t have a clue. How on earth I could have overlooked this gentleman and this album that was released in March last year, which also won the Mercury Prize, is beyond me and I have no excuses. So it is with a hint of embarrasment I write this late, late review, but mostly it is with a tremendous joy to actually have discovered this exquisite talent.
When a friend posted a link to one of his performances on Facebook, I wasn’t prepared to the emotional explosion this talent would provide me with. While firmly seated by his piano, his expressive voice took me up and beyond anything I could have imagined. That light sensibility combined with an untamed, raw passion knocked me off my feet. The song was Cornerstone. When I then moved on to this, his debut album, the momentum just continued and I find myself several times, wiping tears from my face.
You know when you say that an artist has his or her own voice, beyond the clearly visible influences you can hear. That has clearly never been more true than in the case of 27-year old Londoner, Mr. Clementine. He effortlessly seams across jazz, rock opera, pop, spoken word as if it was the most organic thing ever and what takes it beyond just a musical mash up or experiment, is his unbelivably beautiful compositions and the way he embodies the lyrics and songs. There is a natural drive, a musical force taking us forward and it’s not only out of worldly beautiful, but it’s hopeful. And I cannot believe my luck when I come across songs like London, Condolence, Adios, Nemesis, Winston Churchill’s Boy and I Won’t Complain.