I thought I’d kick off the Music Monday series by reviewing one of my favorite albums…”Romantic Works” by British musician Keaton Henson.
I was a big fan of Keaton’s first two albums (Side rant: Am I the only one who doesn’t like when articles refer to people by their last names only? I know that’s technically “professional” to do, but whenever I read articles with multiple people, I’m always scrolling back up to see who is who. For me, the first name is the memorable description, not the last. I’m alone here? Okey-dokey. Moving on.)–“Dear…” and “Birthdays”. “Romantic Works” is the only one of the three that is instrumental. If you are the type of person who inexplicably doesn’t enjoy instrumental music, please do not read on; I don’t want to torture you :-).
Keaton suffers terribly from stage fright, and has been honest about how it’s sometimes difficult to translate all of his emotion into lyrics. This album represents, as he put it, “the in-between moments when I found it all too much to write a clever rhyme.” Most writers have experienced that bubbling up of feeling that somehow doesn’t flow immediately into art. I appreciate Keaton’s soft, delicate, fragile emotive voice, but I also appreciated hearing all the things he could not bring himself to say.
A large number of songs on the album feature cellist Reinoud “Ren” Ford.
I had never heard of him before, but I loved the minimalist melancholic ethereal feel he added. It almost felt like each song could serve as the backing songs for “Another Earth” trailers. Haven’t seen that trailer? It’s awesome.
Here it is. You’re welcome.
My personal favorites on the album would probably be “Josella” and “Elevator Song“. Buuuut I also love “Earnestly Yours“. And “Petrichor” is really awesome too. But if I had to pick a song on this album to be the soundtrack to my life, I’d definitely pick “Josella”. It makes me wish I was in love so I could slowly and heartrendingly fall out of it to this song.
I listen to most of my music on Spotify, but the album is also available for purchase here on Keaton’s website.
Listen to it, and tell me what you think!