Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

posted 19 May 2009, 04:14 by The Editor   [ updated 19 May 2009, 05:02 ]
(Transgressive)

With a name like Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson  (or MBAR to those in the know) you would expect to discover him as a character in a 1950's children's book about adventure and mystery. The reality couldn't be much more removed as the 26 year old New York native is an ex-drug addict and has slept rough for periods of his life. Now, with an album that has been produced by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor and featuring members of TV On The Radio and Grizzly Bear, MBAR is in a position to chronicle the struggles that he has faced. 

Album opener Buriedfed has a whimsical and almost ramshackle feel to it as it trips along at a fair pace. The true meaning behind the song doesn't hit you until the opening line of the second verse when MBAR sings about choking to death and  the resulting funeral. This is fairly common throughout the album when you think that you are listening to a song that is fairly upbeat; you just have to listen closely to the lyrics to pick out the references to death and drug taking. A very cleaver device that is used to good effect by both MBAR and Taylor.

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - Buriedfed

The lo-fi ramshackle feel continues through most of the album which can be accredited to the fact that most of the album was recorded in one take with over dubs added to fill out the sound and not make the artist sound so alone even though the feeling of being alone, either in the singers own head or physically being alone, dominates the theme of many of the songs. The added voices hang loosely around MBAR's own vocals which adds to the sense that this mini community that has been built can not last and his vulnerability shines through.

The theme of being a junkie runs through this album and can sometimes feel as if Robinson is ridding himself of a few ghosts from his past. Lines such as "tried to kick it on Tuesday" and "Got a bit screwed of this shit we scored" are honest and open to the listener and pull very few punches regarding subject matter and the writers state of mind when he wrote these songs.

The only real down side is that the last few songs on the album become a bit of a junkies prayer of the kind that we have seen before from many artists which are musically bland, blending the songs into one another. I don't want this to sound like a lazy comment to make with knowing the artists past but the album rather fizzles out towards the end rather than going out on a high, no pun intended.

Overall a solid, interesting and very enjoyable album that's been well written, produced and thought out. It's just a shame about how it ends.....

7/10

The Editor

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