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This Morning Call - ALL QUIET AT 4AM

  by Fiona Hutchings

published: 31 / 3 / 2010



This Morning Call - ALL QUIET AT 4AM
Label: Substream
Format: CD

intro

Ambient, but over laid back and eventually frustrating debut album from This Morning Call, the moniker for electronic pop producer Ben Heyworth


This Morning Call is actually one person, an 'electronic pop producer' by the name of Ben Heyworth. It claims to mix indie music with live orchestration, electronic quirks and glitch (well I know what two of those might sound like) and has been compared to 'Portishead on anti-depressants' as well as the likes of Keane and A-ha (presumably without medical interventions). All in all it has a lot of hyperbole to live up too. Opener 'Tides' is slightly monotone to start with before merging into a more melodic chorus, a theme that proves consistent through the album. The vocal style is unflamboyant but strong, reminiscent in many ways of early Nick Kershaw. 'Orange Glass' is a small departure, slightly paranoid with an uncomfortable morning-after-the-night-before vibe. At 2 minutes 10 seconds it feels more purposeful and ends with conviction rather than fade away. 'Clockworks' with its acoustic guitars and more unrestrained vocal feels like a big gulp of cool air in amidst this relaxed semi slumber. 'Deserted' brings a much needed darker edge, more insistent drums under angelic vocals that showcase more range and depth. 'The Actor' continues to display Heyworth;s beautifully boyish sound, but with the backing of what may or may not be a casio keyboard. Nothing seems to achieve a satisfying kind of climax. Once you accept that and allow the majority of tracks to simply wash over you, the sensation is similar (I imagine) to drowning – very pleasant once you stop fighting it. The production, as you might expect, is smooth, but I suspect the bigger picture was slightly lost in the wealth of details. All in all I find this frustrating because nothing here is 'bad' and I would like to love it, but feel too relaxed to summon any strong emotions either way. As ambient chill out it is very successful for the most part, but sadly that means it is in danger of being so laid back to doesn't make much of an impression at all.



Track Listing:-
1 Tides
2 In Country
3 Salt
4 The Observatory
5 Orange Glow
6 Clockworks
7 Romance
8 Deserted
9 The Actor
10 Goodnight, Goodnight!
11 Whistle (Bonus Track)



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