BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
It’s no coincidence that Britain’s Keaton Henson initially indulged in the visual arts, because the songs he creates are as expressive and distinctive as any museum memento. True, Henson tends to vet his efforts through hushed circumstances, and those not knowing any better might mistake his voice for a female’s. His willow-like vocals clearly convey that impression. But despite his delicate – make that dainty — designs, Henson also knows how to set a fanciful mood, albeit one that’s singularly subdued.
Songs like “Teach Me,” “Sweetheart, What Have You Done To Us” and “In the Morning” sound like gentle lullabies, with a caress that’s unerringly soothing and sedate. Nevertheless, credit producer Joe Chiccarelli with enhancing the dynamic, adding a shimmer and sparkle to “Lying to You,” a modest string section to “You” a rousing roar to Don’t Swim” and a grunge-like wallop to “Kronos.” Inevitably though, the vibe is generally low key, allowing Henson to express his worries and woe by fairly modest means. As an emerging artist on the cusp of acclaim, his future efforts may find him shoring up the amplitude, all the better to share his sentiments.
DOWNLOAD: “You,” “The Best Today,” “Lying to You”