Hayden Thorpe
Diviner


4.5
superb

Review

by anatelier USER (27 Reviews)
May 25th, 2019 | 48 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I never learned the lines, it was all improvised

“In my butchers hands her soft fruit tendered, she never pretended, she purred while I grrred” came Hayden Thorpe’s salacious croon more than a decade ago on Wild Beasts’ debut. His prurient poetry was very much their molten core – it was hot, it was steamy, and to the discerning nymph quite dreamy – with coy turns of phrase that’d redden cheeks with hot flush and then again with a playful, stinging slap. Limbo, Panto was a rabble-rouser, lighting fires and wreaking havoc as Wild Beasts do – though as the Northern lads dragged themselves up, slowly those fires dwindled. Slowly those beasts went tame.

Their art-pop breakout Two Dancers saw a softer heavy hand, their salivating innuendo cooled to tense suggestion: “a bottled up glottal stop, waiting for the penny drop”. Their third effort Smother was wounded and vulnerable, and the fourth Present Tense nursed back to health, doting and domesticated. Boy King was their fifth and final, and it shed all of that moving maturation for aviators and leather jackets, steeped in unconvincing machismo that could never match the heaving, matted chest of times prior.

It might not be completely necessary to know about the trajectory of Thorpe’s old band, though like most solo releases from former frontmen, it’s definitely prudent. With that knowledge, Diviner becomes the next chapter instead of the first. “I never learned the lines, it was all improvised” he sings on ‘Anywhen’, renouncing the younger him who wanted to impress and make swoon. On ‘Impossible Object’, the last light clinging to the Diviner’s wick as it melts into the wax pool, he tells his love that “the mirror won’t reflect you the same way that I do”. Take Thorpe as separated from the pack, rid of his boyish bravado, and the romanticism takes a new form; restrained, and fought for.

I can’t tell you anything about the music of Diviner that you haven’t already heard countless times before. It is made of piano, synths, some light percussion. It is luscious and pleasant, but you might find that it ambles. And Thorpe’s falsetto, as ingrained into my psyche as an angelic siren as it might be, is surely not everyone’s flavour. But – I’m nothing if not romantic. And Diviner is a bouquet.



Recent reviews by this author
Haruomi Hosono Hochono HouseEx-Isles Luxury Mass
Matt Maltese Bad ContestantAndrew Hung Realisationship
Future Islands The Far FieldSandy's Fourth Dementia
user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
anatelier
May 25th 2019


2763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I realise this review might not win anyone over, but I'm enjoying writing these half-reviews that make you the listener do most of the work

Digging: Mattiel - Satis Factory

Gyromania
May 25th 2019


27544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

concise reviews are sorely lacking on this site. your recs are usually pretty great so i'll check this out for sure.

Digging: black midi - Schlagenheim

Gyromania
May 25th 2019


27544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also wild beasts are so damn good. this is a good reminder to redownload smother

anatelier
May 25th 2019


2763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks gyro - if you love smother then you should have a similar experience with this one, i find it examines the sweeter sentiments from that and present tense. i don't know if this will necessarily win over anyone who isn't already a wild beasts fan but it's impossible for me to approach from that angle

Gyromania
May 25th 2019


27544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i'm loving this so far. 5 tracks in.

Gyromania
May 25th 2019


27544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn, sowing with the terrible rating.

anatelier
May 25th 2019


2763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a true measure of how good this is

letsgofishing
May 25th 2019


1411 Comments


"It might not be completely necessary to know about the trajectory of Thorpe’s old band, though like most solo releases from former frontmen, it’s definitely prudent."

Did it really need to take up half the review though?

Some fun wordplay nonetheless. I'll pos it.

So, is this basically just a more restrained Wild Beasts record?

SowingSeason
Moderator
May 25th 2019


31194 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I listened to this once and found the guy's voice incredibly dull and nothing about the music was interesting enough to pick it up. I'll give it another go no doubt, this is a slow week.

Digging: Bad Books - III

letsgofishing
May 25th 2019


1411 Comments


"I listened to this once and found the guy's voice incredibly dull."

Hahaha, you should listen to this man's first record, Limbo, Panto. Your mind will explode.

anatelier
May 26th 2019


2763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think it was worth talking about a fair bit on account of the lad’s trajectory - if I’d written more then it wouldn’t be half, but it’s the biggest talking point for me

Thorpe’s vocals are downright feral on Limbo Panto, Sowing have you listened to any Wild Beasts? Thorpe wasn’t the only vocalist, there was a baritone too and it was brilliantly offset

DoofDoof
May 26th 2019


3993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only just got back from hols but will give this a go soon as I find a moment - and the review :D

anatelier
May 26th 2019


2763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

For anyone else thinking of diving in, Love Crimes is probably the best track followed by Anywhen

luci
May 26th 2019


11169 Comments


didn't find love crimes very compelling. he's hit and miss for me as a vocalist

anatelier
May 26th 2019


2763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

He’s quite polarising, I get it. Listened to much WB luci?

luci
May 26th 2019


11169 Comments


heard a few, like present tense the most. not huge on the band either

anatelier
May 26th 2019


2763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think the context of development is certainly what’s won me over then, I think this is quite remarkable as a successor to the band’s catalogue. Would be interesting to hear from someone whose first foray is this album

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
May 26th 2019


16065 Comments


love that cover

DoofDoof
May 27th 2019


3993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Had a couple of listens now, think this is the right style for Hayden going solo - occasionally slips into forgettable territory so a 4 out of 5 ceiling for me.



Another solid review too

Gyromania
May 27th 2019


27544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is excellent



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy