Keaton Henson - The Lucky EP - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Keaton Henson - The Lucky EP

by Al Brown Rating:4 Release Date:2012-07-23

Singer-songwriters, eh? There's a lot of them around, and always the sneaking suspicion that they only started because they wanted to get laid a bit more on their gap year. This might not apply to Keaton Henson, a Londoner who literally can't play gigs because of chronic stage fright.

Henson is like Bon Iver at his creaking, crestfallen nadir - just him and his guitar - everything sparse and glacially slow. The problem with minimalism is the fewer elements involved, the more compelling each one has to be, and while both Henson's raw but clean guitar sound and his delicate vocals are nice, neither is mindblowing.

Henson is, unfortunately, no different to his peers when it comes to lyrics either, completely ignoring the gauntlet thrown down by Morrissey, Dylan, Cohen etc and settling for something less ambitious: nebulous heartache; oblique solipsism - all addressed to an unnamed, bepedestaled girl who probably left him for someone a bit less self-absorbed. 'Maps', the Yeah Yeah Yeahs song, is exactly as you'd expect it to be: fragile, wounded and slow, slow, slow. Need I spell out that this puppy-dog act doesn't have a lot of impact after three songs with exactly the same needy, woe-is-me tone?

Henson's fans can tell themselves that, hey, at least they're not listening to Ed Sheeran or Damian Rice. And they would have a point; Henson has a slightly more interesting voice, a slightly more interesting guitar sound, and slightly less vapid lyrics. But is that really all we're asking of our singer-songwriters these days?

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