Album Review

Westerman - An Inbuilt Fault

An acquired taste, but well worth the effort.

Westerman - An Inbuilt Fault

A glance at the tracklisting or the artwork for Westerman’s second album should give you a sense of whether it’s for you: esoteric, unusual shapes and words that don’t offer meaning on an initial viewing matching the tone and timbre of the songs within. Opener ‘Give’ is the benchmark, with percussion that refuses to settle on a single rhythm, played under stormy and unresolved chords. These are hallmarks of the album, as are Westerman’s rich vocal harmonies, in the vein of Fleet Foxes, which provide contrasting lightness against the brooding jazz piano and trumpets. It’s only four songs in that ‘CSI: Petralona’ provides a firmer foundation, also being barer and more intense in its instrumentation. Similarly, the Paul Simon groove of ‘A Lens Turning’ is the lightest moment on the album, and even then finishes on intrigue rather than rest. The refusal to offer any safe ground to the listener is reminiscent of how Kate Bush or Joni Mitchell would hop genres; indeed, Westerman may be less accessible than either artist, but his latest is just as notable in its ambition. ‘An Inbuilt Fault’ is an acquired taste, but well worth the effort.

Tags: Westerman, Reviews, Album Reviews

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