February: Mutual Benefit: ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond’

Mutual Benefit: 'Love's Crushing Diamond'

As you all know I’ve deliberated considerably over my choice for this month’s album. I don’t know why cause as I write this, I am listening to my choice and it enchants me.

The first time I heard it I had decided it was my next album of the month. Why did I question this? I think cause I approach these album choices with a different head on each time. Of course I want to bring music I love to the table but I also don’t want to bring something that brothers find impenetrable. I don’t think anyone could describe this as impenetrable but learning as we go with different choices, our reactions can be quite unpredictable.

As I said, this album enchants me. I find it a little magical. It feels special to me. I hope that these descriptors don’t sound like wanky hyperbole cause I have chosen them quite carefully.

This is, as far as I can make it entirely analogue in its instrumentation but there is something to its richness that reminds me of atmospheric electronica. There is a lot to listen to but it is not dense or murky in its spacing (or lack of). There is separation between sounds, instruments and the many vocal tracks. I know I always say this but this deserves to be listened to through headphones.

You’ll notice I’ve not linked a video or track. I’ve not mentioned a genre though my discussion of instrumentation may lend some clue as to what is coming. I hope you enjoy coming at this one fresh.

Brother Guy, you’ve mentioned listening to our albums on the way to work. This is the kind of music I love to listen to while walking, tubing etc in London. Serenity to match the mad dash of rush hour. I hope that this is a fine accompaniment to the commute.

16 comments

  1. misterstory

    They were ‘dispatched’ on 24th of Jan with a 10-14 day delivery estimate! Sorry, didn’t see that at the time. I ordered a CD for Stacey at the same time and it’s here so shouldn’t be far off?

  2. misterstory

    Glad they’ve arrived. Glad you *Love* it David.

    I had it on 3 times in a row yesterday evening and I caught myself sighing out loud with satisfaction. As per my introduction, I find it ‘enchanting’.

  3. whyohwhyohwhy

    First listen – very cinematic. There’s lots that makes me think of Grizzly Bear, Decemberists and in some places PJ. Didn’t hit me upside my head, but I want to listen again.

  4. David Allison

    So. I actually need to stop listening to this soon or I’ll burn a hole in my speakers. What a lovely record. Gossamer light, it floats along beatifully, but as you get to know it better, you begin to see that it has the songwriting chops and complexity of a Grizzly Bear. I have actually bought his other stuff off the back of this, which isn’t quite as good but still pretty wonderful.

    This genre is such a crowded field, and for every Sujan Stevens there’s a million fey indie boys who begin to annoy the crap out of you by track 3. It takes real skill and an ear for melody not to become self-indulgent or boring, and this album is never any of those. His lyrics are probably his weakest point, but they’re hardly terrible and they fit the songs nicely. Not surprised this is getting rave reviews, it’s a real stand out and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s in my albums of the year come December.

    Thanks, Brother Joey. An inspired choice.

  5. whyohwhyohwhy

    I’ve really enjoyed this so far. It’s not completely bewitched me, but it’s lovely and cinematic. There’s strands of everything in there. Yes, a lot of Grizzly Bear, and some of the Decemberists, but also bits of Bon Iver, John Rouse, all sorts. It’s washing over me gently, and I’m sitting back and letting it just do that. It’s that sort of album.

    I’m with you on the throwaway element Brother David, but this is staying with me, which is a very good sign indeed.

    Brother Joy, good work!

  6. nolankane706

    I think that we need to start being realistic about things a bit here brothers…. some music sounds like other music. That’s why music it put into genres. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with this. IT IS OK TO LIKE ARTISTS THAT SOUND SIMILAR!

    On that point I like this. I like it simply because I like many of the artists that have already been mentioned and I think this falls nicely into that basket.

    I’ve been mostely listening to it in the car, on cold dark days and it seems to hit the spot as I’m drinkign my mint tea flying down the M1 at 90mph trying not to think about work.

    I find at times that it was over produced and this effects the clarity of some bits on the vocal front but this is my only gripe.

    In a genre that has been raped by the likes of Newton Falkner, James Blunt and so many others this keeps it cool which is nice to see. It’s a strong addition to my CD collection and I like that.

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