I own a record that does not contain a weak track. In fact, it does not contain a track that I could call merely good. Very good would be a starting point, which leads to greatness. Gallops to greatness, actually. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
has created a piece of music that is stunningly great. In fact, if not for Wolf Parade this would be my album of the year, so far. It is that good. This self titled piece of beauty is the debut album for Mr Robinson and what a debut it is. Rich and varied, full of pain and joy and bleeding emotion, it transports you to that world of Dylan and Young and Springsteen. Songs to stand the test of time, songs of greatness.
Where did this spring from? A few months ago this man was unknown to me. After doing my homework, it would seem that Mr Robinson originated in Oregon before making his way to Brooklyn. Where upon he took too many drugs and drank too much alcohol, all the while trying to write his songs of genius. Luckily he straightened himself out and his talent caught the eye of some members of Grizzly Bear and TV on the Radio, who were involved in the production of this glorious album. And glorious it is, never better shown then in the startling opener "Buriedfed", a song for the ages, a song of pure, driven intensity. Starting quietly, Miles sings with a hush, declaring this is "my last song about myself", before unfolding a story of shocking pain, all the way backed up by a melody that is impossible to resist. The song builds and builds before exploding into a cacophony of soaring sound. An impressive start, but this album doesn't wait for any one. "The Debtor" is a delicious slice of folk harmony, with a subtle and gorgeous piano line running through it. "Woodfriend" follows, a raucous affair that rattles and hums. At this point, a slight breather is needed and "Who's Laughing" provides it. A slow burning affair, it stutters and twitters with great delicacy. I have to say, this is a song writer's album. It could be called folk, but it is more then that, it contains soaring melodies, it rocks out totally in parts and also contains moments of quiet beauty. It is, quite simply a collection of great songs, songs that contain stories of pain and hope and ultimately, truth. The truth of this talented man.
As stated before, every song on this album has something to say. "The Ongoing Debate Concerning Present vs Future" is a careening mini rock opera. "My Good Luck" is a rollicking good time that is the sort of song that commercial radio should be playing if they had any taste. "Written Over" is a crushingly beautiful song, too delicate to touch. "Mountaineered" is all shock and awe, layers of quiet and loud. "Above The Sun" is a delicate elegy that sounds almost spiritual. Then Miles closes with "Boneindian", a song of hushed tranquility, serene and soft, as Miles slowly strums and whispers his vocals. Oh, did I mention the vocals. His voice is a glorious vessel, full of humanity and great character, it enables the listener to feel each and every note. In every way, this an album of enormous substance. If you are concerned with the state of music and are looking for a man to lead the way, then make Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
This album is available from Say Hey Records
and will be released shortly in Australia on Spunk Records
-Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson