Singer-songwriter, High Focus M.C. and Britain’s most famous Steptoe and Son fan RAG’N’BONE MAN [actually 32 year old Rory Graham from East Sussex] released his debut album this month, titled “Human.”
The single and title-track from the album, released last summer and co-written with Jamie Hartman and produced by Two Inch Punch was a Christmas hit on the UK Singles Chart.
Rag’n’Bone Man won the Choice Award at the Brit Awards.
We had a listen to “Human” —
This excellent album begins with the title anthem “Human”.
The wonderful melody is motivated by a ribbing of bumpy bass-notes and clappy, clappy rhythms.
There is a bewildering background of darkness, but the glorious huskiness of the lead voice keeps the listener feeling optimistic
“Skin” has a drowsy body with languid organ-notes that enclose the somnolent voice. “When the walls came down/ I was thinking about you…”
Every ounce of this song contains demonstrable instinct and intuition.
The slow-stepping “Grace” with lyrics inspired by mistakes made in love: “So easy for you to break my foolish heart” is a neat affair.
It is fair to say that it is all about broken hearts, but the hymn retains rivulets of rhythm that drive the blotched pine ‘n’ candy voice towards an ultimate catharsis.
The bouncy ping-pong beat of “Odetta” reminds us that Rag’n’Bone Man is a product of 21st century urban music, but this is one of several album songs that allow the artist to to bare his softwood heart.
It is quite possible that his pomegranate ‘n’ paraffin-wax vocals are the best in the world right now. This song — our favorite on the album by-the-way — warmly converts the listener by providing a comforting feeling of satisfaction that transcends the deep emotion held in each lyric.
This is the highest quality gospel and American soul [although the artist is, of course, British.] With the twilight qualities of rootsy blues and the soft jazziness of woogiest rhythm.
File somewhere between Solomon Burke and Lee Fields.
5 STARS Very Highly Recommended
Words: Neil Mach 2017 ©