REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Benjamin Clementine's 'At Least For Now' Is Timeless

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

It is a rare statement through most mainstream music to suggest an act brings a sense of class and culture but Benjamin Clementine could never be considered a middle-of-the-road musician. Like popping a cork in a wine bottle, he has waited patiently developing his music and refining it in an attempt to leave it with a taste that is simply timeless, and has excelled the expectations. His new album, ‘At Least For Now’, is not for your mainstream listener but for those who treat music like an heirloom, like a treasure.

Unlike most artists hitting the scene today, the cult figure delves into a nostalgic classical style that illustrates his theme of heartbreak and homelessness with a melancholic but beautiful finesse. With French amour basting the album, each song leaves something of a prevalent emporté nature lingering on the tongue.

What sounds to be a practice of notes inégales latches itself to the unconventional and unpredictably experimental minor singing method of Mr Clementine creating an emotionally charged adventure of an LP.

If that wasn’t enough, the album also holds a sophisticated lyricism which traverses through a collection of bursting falsettos, shouts and screams that give off a strong expressive state alongside jaunty rhythms that would remind the audience of something of an almost carnival-like welcoming note.

 Holding elements of a cool Tom Waits vibe, “Nemesis” is one of the strongest new songs from the London-born composer which holds strong life-lessons as well as side context of relationship woes and drinking issues.

With an orchestra-backing, the attraction seems to revolve around the monumental presence that this piece subtly creeps in with. Like a novelty clown car with an x number of passengers, this song just keeps delivering and doesn’t seem to dampen at any point.

Although the track “London” is un-arguably the closest song to ‘conventional’ on the new release, it is still worth mentioning as an interesting song which also works well as a helping hand for the marketing side when reaching a younger and classically uneducated generation.

‘At Least For Now’ holds nothing but originality. Whether he is probing the French music scene, adding a smattering of traditional song writing here and there or losing himself in strong monologue narration, Mr Clementine’s strengths sit out on a sun-bathed boulevard eating tea and croissants where as his weaknesses hide in the shadows of his damaged past.

 For more information on Benjamin Clementine
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click here Words by Nathan Roach