Benjamin Clementine is an interesting case. His 2015 debut At Least For Nowpicked up the Mercury Prize, and offered the extraordinarily unique artist the platform to channel his musings to a larger audience. All that considered, you have to admire his determination to conceive a concept album about a pair of romantic flies in amongst a whirlwind of geo-political discord. Couple that notion with the fact that Clementine seems to regard it as a mission to confound and befuddle the listener with senseless arrangements and sonically sardonic climates, and you have to feel that he has missed an opportunity to use his raw materials to raise his stock and line his pockets. It’s impossible to judge his voice due to the sheer insolence of its metamorphosis, veering from the Queen’s English to overindulgent impressionism. Hints of regularity are often dropped before being snatched away from you in vaudevillian style. There’s an awful lot to be admired about Clementine’s approach, but it’s certainly not an easy listen.
[FIRST PUBLISHED ON NO RIPCORD]