14 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For more than 30 years after his last solo album, Ben Watt kept busy with Everything but the Girl—the stylized duo he fronted with his wife, Tracey Thorn—and with writing books that further testified to his superior observation powers. As part of EBTG, he introduced the kind of atmospheric adult synth-folk-pop that’s being imitated more than ever in the '10s by indie groups and well known acts such as The xx. For this 2014 solo album, Watt settles into a muted sound where the dance rhythms have been exiled and the electric pianos make their way onto a song called “Matthew Arnold’s Field,” which sounds much like the approach Duncan Sheik has used since turning away from mainstream pop-rock. Guests here are kept to a minimum, with producer Ewan Pearson and Suede guitarist Bernard Butler the common collaborators. David Gilmour makes a desirable but not Pink Floyd–like appearance on the atmospheric “The Levels.” For an uptick in tempo, “Young Man’s Game” offers a standard band arrangement with solid drums, organ, and electric guitar accompaniment on a tune that addresses how Watt isn't the cat he used to be. The deluxe version adds acoustic demos of three tunes and a live performance of “Forget.”

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For more than 30 years after his last solo album, Ben Watt kept busy with Everything but the Girl—the stylized duo he fronted with his wife, Tracey Thorn—and with writing books that further testified to his superior observation powers. As part of EBTG, he introduced the kind of atmospheric adult synth-folk-pop that’s being imitated more than ever in the '10s by indie groups and well known acts such as The xx. For this 2014 solo album, Watt settles into a muted sound where the dance rhythms have been exiled and the electric pianos make their way onto a song called “Matthew Arnold’s Field,” which sounds much like the approach Duncan Sheik has used since turning away from mainstream pop-rock. Guests here are kept to a minimum, with producer Ewan Pearson and Suede guitarist Bernard Butler the common collaborators. David Gilmour makes a desirable but not Pink Floyd–like appearance on the atmospheric “The Levels.” For an uptick in tempo, “Young Man’s Game” offers a standard band arrangement with solid drums, organ, and electric guitar accompaniment on a tune that addresses how Watt isn't the cat he used to be. The deluxe version adds acoustic demos of three tunes and a live performance of “Forget.”

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
18 Ratings
18 Ratings
typeanynicknamehere ,

couldnt be more dull

its just awful. why even bother? just play this junk at a local pub or starbucks.

Berruecos ,

True Musician

Either as a pop electronic band member (EBTG) or famous DJ and producer, BW is eclectic, and creates differente atmospheres that always make feel good. Like, Like.

Marklvis ,

Great album; delete and reload the tracks

This is a great album, unfussy and uncomplicated; beautiful vocals and guitar work. Fans of EBTG and "North Marine Drive" should enjoy it. Previous reviewer: iTunes does have support; delete the tracks that won't play; you should be able to re-download them and they should then play fine.

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