FATEA Review of Do We Burn The Boats?

Ben Glover's Do We Burn The Boats is the latest Americana album I've had the pleasure to review. However, listening to it leaves me thinking he shouldn't be pigeonholed into the category because he does cover more in scope, as greater artists tend to. Having drawn comparisons with the highly praised talents of singer-songwriters like Tom Petty, David Gray, Damien Rice and the legendary Boss, Bruce Springsteen, I'd say with this latest album he sure is climbing nearer to their heights if not already touching the tail end.

From the off, What Ever Happens Will is delightful with its mellow sounding harmonic woooh oooohs that accompany the chorus. It washes over you, cleansing you of all worry and stress, leaving behind a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere in which the rest of the album is to be enjoyed. With lyrics like, 'Don't let time get the better of you……Tomorrow's just a ghost waiting to be born….' it bequeaths a laid back chilled out approach that is quite infectious.

While the many positive comparisons are flying about, Memo buffers you along with a sound akin to Paul Simon. All the many comparisons aside, it is clear Ben Glover has established his own unique sense of style so thankfully he's never at risk of getting lost among them.

Do What You Do sneaks up on you beginning its journey with a gentle guitar melody before picking up Ben's soft yet haunting vocals. It builds up with a multitude of instruments joining the voyage along the way. Like they're all part of a travelling band, adding their own component to the musical puzzle as they meet up. This is a real hidden jewel in the crown even while light on lyrics, the musical arrangement and vocals are what build on the simplicity creating a considerable depth.

From the rockier sounding War To Believe, with its impressive electric guitar to the bluesy dulcet tones of No Means Yes and the heartfelt ballad And Only You And I, Ben demonstrates the true extent of his skills. Break Away is perfectly paced packing such a force it fills you with a sense of strength while Rampart Street brings things to a close with a delicate grace hinted at and already glimpsed throughout. The string arrangement is sublime with just slender guitar at its core accompanied by startlingly emotive cello and violin. Whereas Do What You Do is a hidden jewel, Rampart Street shines out bold and beautiful yet with hues remaining as subtle as the music.

While perhaps Ben hasn't yet been universally recognised for the talent he clearly possesses, the comparisons keep coming to include Ryan Adams and even Bob Dylan, particularly with regards the writing. To an extent these are more than justified even if he does still have a little way to go and something still to prove. This is the third album in three years and fourth overall and it oozes quality and confidence. Ben sounds comfortable, like he has found the place he needs to be to produce accomplished, verging on phenomenal records. I'll admit this is the first I've heard of him but Do We Burn The Boats has definitely left me wanting more. His previous albums are already on my shopping list.

Rob Powell

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