At Least For Now

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - Vir­gin EMI JIM CAR­ROLL

That Benjamin Clemen­tine has pres­ence is clear from the out­set. The Lon­don na­tive has had an event­ful life, as seen in bi­o­graph­i­cal notes about home­less­ness and busk­ing in Parisian Metro sta­tions. But when he opens his mouth and starts to sing, you’re floored by that ex­tra­or­di­nary voice of his. It’s the kind of voice which would con­vince lesser tal­ents to ham it up, but Clemen­tine mostly re­sists that temp­ta­tion. Save

Win­ston Churchill’s Boy’s melo­dra­matic re­work­ing of the prime min­is­ter’s fa­mous sec­ond World War speech, At Least For

Now comes across as nu­anced and poised, es­pe­cially the beau­ti­ful arch of Cor­ner­stone. You can hear traces of Antony He­garty, Nina Si­mone and Ru­fus Wain­wright in his vo­cals, while the sparse pi­anowork owes a tip of the hat to Yann Tiersen. A strong, promis­ing open­ing state­ment.

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