Review #71: Benjamin Clementine – At Least For Now

Artist – Benjamin Clementine
Album – At Least For Now (2015)

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/6xwVRPSGl4a2iHDULHyVwJ

Benjamin Clementine is a singer/pianist from London, UK. Benjamin grew up in North London before moving over to France. During this time he wrote poetry and developed his songwriting and piano playing skills in preparation for a brilliant and emotional performance on the TV show ‘Later with Jools Holland’. Clementine’s brilliant mix of RnB and classical piano with blues/soul/spoken word vocals has earned him praise from numerous musicians, including Jools Holland himself. This is Benjamin Clementines debut album, let’s hope it is as emotional as expected.

It seems a long time since we’ve been able to point out a ‘singer-songwriter’ type (especially on piano) that truly has a unique sound and stands out from anything before. Clementines voices, especially on this album, transcends the normal styles and melodies which encompass this genre, drifting smoothly between spoken word, rap, soul and blues, continuously displaying a deep mature sense of emotion. The piano playing by Ben is superb, as mentioned previously, swaying between numerous genres (RnB, Classical) and at times displaying a few melodies drawing back to his french roots. Instrumentation is very simple, Vocals, Piano and Percussion. Although the vocals and piano are the stand out features the percussion shouldn’t go a miss, the varies types such as shakers, acoustic drums, programmed drums add something a little different to each songs and fits perfectly with the mood created. For me the stand out tracks would be ‘Condolence’, i think the programmed drums add variety to the rest of the album, and ‘Adios’, the operatic interlude within this songs is shocking and outstanding.

‘At Least For Now’ is a fantastic and emotional album, displaying solely through audio form the passion we all got to see in Benjamin Clementines performance on ‘Later with Jools Hollands’. Certainly an album everyone should rush to hear.

8/10

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