I first became aware of Rag ‘N’ Bone Man after seeing him on Jools Hollands show back in September 2016. That performance was a real head turner, he was so professional with a voice so rich that it surprised me somewhat to hear that the story of Rag ‘N’ Bone Man was 15 years in the making. Human, the début album is proof that hard work and determination can pay off. Rory Graham has spent 15 years, honing a talent, developing a voice that just demands attention.
Reading the booklet of the deluxe edition CD, there are grounds for concern. With 22 writing and 7 production credits spread across the 19 tracks, how could this album possible work as a cohesive piece?
But work it does, the production’s polished but doesn’t overwhelm, mixing traditional with modern, mostly subtle, beats. Rousing choruses and sweeping orchestration accompany a rich voice capable of different styles. This is an album that works, although it may go a bit too hard for the commercial jugular. I hope to see more of a traditional blues sound on the inevitable second album. (Grahams a cappella performance of Die Easy is a case in point). That one slight criticism aside, this album is a resounding success, mostly because the best instrument on the album, for all the producers and writers, is Grahams magnificent voice, and this is the one thing that thankfully shines through.
Star Rating (out of 5): 4****
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