Review: Keaton Henson – Dear

I like simplicity, I suppose it comes down to opinion, but in my opinion less is always more, especially when it comes to music. Keaton Henson’s new album Dear…  is a prime example of this.  Although at times the listener can get a tad distracted or see their attention waver in songs such as You Dont Know How Lucky You Are and Oliver Dalston Browning, you still return to the music feeling engaged and happy.

His Bon Iver-esque vocals, acoustic prominence and dreamy tunes are enlightening and perfect for any occasion.  Perhaps because of the current sunshine, I am relating everything to the weather and the prospect of the summer months, but songs such as Sarah Minor and Nests in particular bring to mind sailing boats, harbours and the glittering ocean.

Lyrically, Henson is full of intent and emotion, Flesh and Bone -my personal favourite- and Charon demonstrating this, perfectly complimented by the understated and uncomplicated instrumentals.  However the first song Prologue, is puzzling. It is just that, a brief, one minute prologue to the album, an interesting idea but I am not sure that anyone would listen to it more than once and I therefore, can’t quite see the point.

That aside, there is an innocence and pureness to the album, from the vocals to the instruments to the lyrics which is captivating and comforting, easy to listen to and enjoy.  Possibly reflective of Henson’s character, Dear…  is unassuming and unobtrusive, humble and that little bit timid.

Ellie Witt