- by D R Pautsch Rating:8 Release Date:2016-09-23 Label: PIAS
When Keaton Henson first released his debut album Dear it was striking the intimacy and introspection that was on offer. It was a heart wrenching album of beauty and pain. Three albums later (four if you count the instrumental one he released) and he is at it again. The opening track Alright gives a false dawn of an almost Sufjan Stevens change of direction as it cuts about another track to give it a different feel but that is a false dawn as what follows is pure Keaton Henson. That means intimate, raw and emotional.
That he writes about love, lust and heartbreak so openly is just a window into the mind of the tortured soul. This is a man who likens what little live experience he has had to PTSD. So when he sings on the pugilist Don't Forget Me it's with such pitying honesty you hope his plaintive plea is not in vain. That's not to say that everything here is full of soul searching. Good Lust ends with an almost angry refrain where Henson asks 'What is Good Lust? It's just love without trust.' And perhaps that's another window into this tortured soul whereby there is almost an element of self harm about the whole process, Comfortable Love gives further evidence to this with Henson asking 'Who needs comfortable love', you know that maybe he is part of the reason he is suffering. The sparse piano and guitar here are just another indication of a man who sounds like he is distanced from the music industry and probably most of society.
Whether or not you are going to enjoy this depends on how much you enjoy hearing this level of emotion. Certainly for some this will come over as over-wrought and a little too much. However, the musicianship, honesty and rawness means this is another album to love from a man who maybe just needs that love and belief to overcome whats causing his pain.