Tuesday, May 1

Album Of Last Month

Keaton Henson 'Dear...' (Oak Ten Records)

There are too many folk-jongleurs congesting up the place these days. And just when you think you've glimpsed your last sub-Mumford applicant, another bandit comes along to puzzle the system. When the tunes are as real and endearing as Keaton Henson's, though, you can't help but add one more to the line recently prolonged by Kiwanuka, Howard and Francis Leftwich. 'You Don't Know How Lucky You Are' embraces the kinda genius subtlety offered through a 'Mad Men' ep, and 'Not That You'd Even Notice' takes the schmaltzy strumming up a notch, as Henson sorrowfully calls "please don't leave me" to a lost love. But 'Party Song' is the most poignant of 'em all, with unstinting chords recurring beneath the bluest tale of heartbreak; "I'm afraid I'd kill your lover while your back was turned," defines Henson's gift of yoking the soft with the heavy. What would we do without him?

Best Track
'Party Song'