James Hoffman - Fault Lines (C)

A less sad, more folky Ben Howard is the only way I can think to describe him. I came across this album tonight and thought I’d listen to the first track, just to get a feel. I enjoyed it so I kept listening, prepared to switch to something else at the end of the next track, then that track ended and I let the next one play with the same idea, that when this song ended I would change to something else. This went on for the entire album and now that it’s over I’ve started it again. It’s a funny thing, how music can take you over, even after I saved two of the first three songs on the album I was still thinking about what I wanted to change it to and yet I never did. This guy isn’t anything new, his music no more profound than any other artist, his sound not unique enough to sway the impatient listener, even I was prepared for a brief listen and yet with all of this stacked against it for some reason I couldn’t turn him off. His sound is soft and warm, there is calmness in his voice and a contentedness to his approach. He never tries to do too much, always keeping it simple. Through relaxing harmonies and dreamy melodies he has me in a daze as I lay here, eyes looking at the stars, running through my own thoughts.

At only 42 minutes it’s easy to run through on a morning commute or a nice night drive coasting on an empty highway. Give this guy a listen, I think it’ll be a pleasant surprise. The opening track, “For What It’s Worth”, is a perfect intro to the artist and the album, slowly building into a subtle but beautiful payoff, which drifts into the more lively second track “Wish You Well”. I’ve also included one of the more upbeat tracks to give you a more rounded idea of the album. Also listen to the duet "Only The Hills" if you have a little more time!