Albums

Album Review: Ben Howard – ‘I Forgot Where We Were’

Ben Howard’s back, but his upbeat, chirpy self isn’t. I Forget Where We Were is darker, more melancholic… but still well worth a listen.

Gone are the upbeat acoustic melodies featured in Howard’s singles The Wolves and Only Love. The album is considerably darker sounding with the chilled acoustic guitars largely replaced by haunting electric sounds. Attentive fans are likely to be able to string together Howard’s sonic progression; the album’s sombre tones don’t sound too different from his 2012 release of The Burgh Island EP. Considering the mass commercial success of his last album it’s difficult not to question whether I Forget Where We Were will be quite as well received.

Attentive fans are likely to be able to string together Howard’s sonic progression; the album’s sombre tones don’t sound too different from his 2012 release of The Burgh Island EP

This latest release from Howard does not show the same diversity that Every Kingdom did, an album that contained upbeat and more toned down, stripped back songs. The album itself may be at risk of dissatisfying listeners due to the consistently similar sounds within every track. Moreover, there really doesn’t appear to be anything striking or excitingly dazzling about the album.

Howard still remains vocally strong and the album shows clear thought and musical talent

With that said, lyrics and composition are clear redeemers of the album. Howard still remains vocally strong and the album shows clear thought and musical talent. Howard’s lyrical talent is evident in many of the tracks highlighting the beauty and complexity of his writing style. End of the Affair is perhaps the track that will most likely strike a chord with listeners, containing an eclectic mixture of Howard’s slow rhythmic style piqued with an interesting layer of acoustic and electric sounds. Time is Dancing and the eponymous track I Forget Where We Were also show Howard’s poetic and thoughtful style of writing. When listened to individually the tracks resonate in an intense manner but as a whole it may be difficult to appreciate the composition of each track.

Those who were fans of The Burgh Island EP should be captivated no problem at all

Those who were fans of The Burgh Island EP should be captivated no problem at all. For those who preferred the more accessible sounds of Every Kingdom, more time may be needed to adapt to Howard’s new tone.

6/10

Louise Croft

Louise has been listening to: Hundred Waters – ‘Out Alee’

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