Ben Kyle opens with “Don’t Settle” which is a gorgeous acoustic rock track. Ben’s vocals are so light in the verses, even when he’s got about five of him doing the backing vocals in a high register. The choruses have a big stomping tom drum in them but even still all the instruments aside from that are light and airy and the result is something that you could float away to. “Trust” brings the piano to the party which effectively becomes part of the bass end of the music as Ben very slowly ups the ante on this four chord understated anthem. “Hills of England” ups the tempo slightly as things become a little less folk and a little more country with that trademark guitar whine you only get with country! Even the drums here lack an oomph to give the music a real ground to it. The result means that even though you can foot tap to the track, it’s still remarkably delicate and gentile. “Simple Life” showcases Ben’s vocals as the rest of the instrumentation is very sparse while the lyrics take on religious tones. “Mercy” continues this theme with a very catchy tune, a simple chorus and some wonderfully constructed vocal harmonies. A personal favourite.
“Minneapolis” continues the sheer delicate guitar strumming and the lonely country twine effect – this album would be the perfect lullaby to a cold night. Indeed “The Dark” follows a similar route with the guitars almost becoming Hawaiian as they take a more prominent place in the mix. “The Turf Club” is something of a barn dance with the shuffle percussion before “God Only Knows” makes things a bit more rockier with proper drums and Ben using his lower register. “Thank You” too is a bit more jolly with its approach as Ben crafts another three chord riff to whisper over his thanks for life. The closer “The Child” is brings out the harmonica just in case you weren’t sure exactly what kind of pitch this album was going for!
Now I may have been a bit sarcastic at the end of the review but make no mistake Ben Kyle has crafted an excellent album that anyone whom enjoys the quieter side of folk, country and easy listening rock will appreciate. The album never steps away from an airy wisp and Ben’s harmonic abilities are amazing. It’s like a 45 minute lullaby.