V2 – 2001 – 38 minutes

Emerging in 1999 with 'My Beautiful Demon', Ben Christophers has followed up the precarious beauty of his debut with the (slightly) more upbeat 'Spoonface'. Mixing warm electronic beats with folk influences, Christophers’ vocal range and imaginative arrangements mark him out as far more than just another run of the mill singer-songwriter.

The insistent beat and breathy delivery of opening song 'Leaving My Trouble Behind' contrasts with the eerie intimacy that Christophers builds on songs like the sparse 'Falls Into View' and 'Spoonface'. His voice alternately caresses and chills, surrounded by layers of carefully constructed sounds – chiming bells, softly brushed drums and squelchy beats.

Lyrically, Christophers tends towards the downbeat, occasionally drifting into bitterness: "So grief heavenly grief my love you're bringing to me/But you've got shipwreckers eyes and all a cutting stingray smile" ('Hooded Kiss') but he is also capable of evoking images of startling beauty as in 'Songbird Scrapes the Sky': "Maybe love's a vapour trail/From the cool cream hands of angels".

A dreamy treat from a true original.

Caroline Hennessy

Tracklisting: Leaving My Sorrow Behind - The Stream - Falls Into View - Transatlantic Shooting Stars - Hooded Kiss - Easter Park - Songbird Scrapes The Sky - Spoonface - Losing Myself - The Opium Willow