Keaton Henson
Birthdays


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andy H. B. USER (27 Reviews)
July 7th, 2013 | 98 replies


Release Date: 02/25/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Solitude.

Birthdays is a unique opportunity to gaze into the mind of an artist that is normally sealed shut. Keaton Henson is a solitary creature, as he admits blatantly in “Lying to You”, one that sits in his quaint bungalow alone and draws, and as this album is so beautifully an example of, writes music. This music is not for the faint of heart or the ill of will. The breakable, at times desperate timbre of his somber vocalizations, perhaps a modified take on Elliott Smith at his most rattled, are enough to reduce the strongest to the weakest, the predator to the prey, the lion to the gazelle, the raging bull to the quietest mouse, and so on and so forth.

The delicately beautiful and depressive melodies of his guitar strumming (“10 AM, Gare Du Nord” among many others) and, in some moments, accented by minimalistic percussion, female backing vocals, piano and strings, can drill unforgiving holes into where one is most vulnerable; the troubling Achilles Heel in all of us. All of this is then ripped apart when the second half of “Don’t Swim” and especially or most surprisingly, “Kronos”, rolls on the tape, as an explosion of aggressive, electric eruption breaks the surface of the otherwise deeply introspective and painfully brittle experience. Despite maintaining his fragile undertone on the latter, Keaton sings with an acidic and caustic bite that evokes the image of him throwing a flower vase as an ultimate “f*ck you” towards a broken love that he once thought may have been the stereotypical “one”, an ordeal that many can relate with all too well. This is one of the things that Keaton does so effectively, despite his anxiety-filled solitude and unique surroundings, he can still create songs that are completely identifiable and devastatingly scalding at the same time. He does not saturate his lyrics with unnecessary metaphors or pretentious nonsense, this would not fit such a sound, and we should be thankful for that.

Keaton Henson has created an entirely new dimension to his creativity with Birthdays, one that builds on the ideas introduced on Dear... and wraps them in a wholly familiar, yet entirely fresh package. It is an album that can make you destructively depressed and softly joyful at the same point, perhaps the climax of “Sweetheart, What Have You Done to Us” is a terrific example of that, or maybe it is not and I should just let you decide. I am sure that is what Keaton would want, but personally, I’m not going to expect an answer.



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user ratings (85)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ShadowRemains
July 7th 2013


20842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

terrific album, dear... prob needs a review as well

ResidentNihilist
July 7th 2013


1054 Comments


Must be the first 4 rating you ever given to an album that isn't osdm. Seriously great review, you've really improved a lot.

rien333
July 7th 2013


254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice, finally a review. Dear... needs review hard, waaaaay more people need to hear that album. The weird thing is the fact that it will appeal to a lot of users around here.

ABjordanMM
July 7th 2013


1411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review. really digging this album.

Digging: Manchester Orchestra - Hope

MO
July 7th 2013


18755 Comments


great review buddy

you've made me curious to check this out when I'm depressed

Green Baron
July 7th 2013


20000 Comments


love this so fucking much, especially you

ShadowRemains
July 7th 2013


20842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Must be the first 4 rating you ever given to an album that isn't osdm.


er...what?

cheers people, listen to this thing

CK
July 7th 2013


4922 Comments


Looks good, I might have to listen

Digging: Death - Human

ShadowRemains
July 7th 2013


20842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you prob should

bakkermaarten007
July 7th 2013


3542 Comments


Will probably check this out, because I like your taste in anything indie and folk related. Pos.

ShadowRemains
July 7th 2013


20842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ya i think you'd like it

Sanders
July 7th 2013


2352 Comments


absolutely love this album

cracking review

ShadowRemains
July 7th 2013


20842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cheers man

Nikkolae
July 7th 2013


4849 Comments


oh i didnt knew this existed, i adore dear... beautiful review too

ShadowRemains
July 7th 2013


20842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sanders' avatar has eyes that stare into the soul

ABjordanMM
July 12th 2013


1411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You look the best today.

ShadowRemains
July 12th 2013


20842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haunting shit

ABjordanMM
July 13th 2013


1411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

first 5 tracks on this are ace.

elbaliem
July 13th 2013


913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

is this good?

ABjordanMM
July 13th 2013


1411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

very



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