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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 39 - 12/22/99

Ben Christophers
My Beautiful Demon

Album of the year! Ben Christophers came as the big surprise on many critics in the UK and elsewhere some time earlier this year, with stylish melancholy pop, elegantly played and performed. Christophers has written an album-full of excellent songs, aiming for bulls-eye, and succeeding!

My Beautiful Demon is so emotional and soothing all the way through, from the first line ("I remember you in cine film ...") of the title track (also released as a single), throughout all 10 songs on the album. Ben Christophers stands up as a magnificent songwriter, and his voice is quite powerful, expressing the pain and the sorrow his lyrics tell. He plays guitar and keyboard as well, and producer David Kosten contributes tasty keyboards and programming, making the sound of the album very solid, but yet fresh and modern. There's also a small number of additional musicians, adding drums, bass, violin and cello. Christophers sometimes makes me think of Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, and maybe even Matthew Sweet in his calmer moods. Give Me Everything (the 2nd single) is a smashing song with its swirly guitars and trippy drums. "Bring down all the shade that blinded, the baby stars and eyelids, under the cinema sky," goes the lyrics - yet again a moving images reference. And the staggering beauty goes on, with Before the Winter Parade, one of the best love songs of the year. Simply breathtaking.

Christophers circle around the back alleys of love, with bitter-sweet and semi-sad lyrics, of more or less faded, broken and mended love stories. Most of the songs are quite slow and quiet, such as Stay, It's Been a Beautiful Day, Sunday, Healer, and last but not least Skyscraper, which ends the album. Again, I must say, this album really blew me away, with its intense, melancholic beauty. Dare I say it? Yes! Masterpiece. Nothing less. Finally I somehow get the feeling of Ben Christophers being Nick Drake's kid brother, or nephew, but of a far less depressive kind. Y'know, some demons can be nice and sweet.

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