Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly
The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager.
The self confessed 'bohemian teenager' in question is Sam Duckworth, only just turned 20. For me, this title doesn't bode well, after all, who refers to themselves as such with a straight face?
This album is being marketed as a testament to the ideology and hedonism of youth, a worthy, if not too frequent subject. However, I feel that Duckworth's tender years don't allow for enough retrospection on his youthful thoughts to give them any real interest or originality. His lyrics are at best mediocre and will probably appeal to pre-pubescent teens looking for someone who understands them.
He voices clichéd and naive views on his surroundings such as 'lets talk about romance, romance is dead. Its an ideology exploited for commercial gain', and my personal favourite 'I spy with my little eye, something beginning with, I don't care' which actually made me laugh out loud.
On first listen what springs to mind about Duckworth's vocals is that he sounds a little like Art Alexakis from Everclear, having an exaggerated American twang. Later I find out that to my surprise he is in fact from Essex. I find his vocal style rather unsubtle, there are no fluctuations of volume or tone, and his intonations somehow lend to a rather dressed up replica of what Duckworth thinks passion sounds like, rather than fuelled by genuine passion.
His guitar playing is, however, quite pleasant to listen to and his delicate finger picking style shows talent, its just a shame it isn't accompanied by a more honest and striped down vocal or song writing talent.
'Oak Tree' illustrates some of Duckworths positive qualities. It sounds like a cross between Herby Hancock and pleasant, catchy pop punk; an interesting mix. It also boasts some of his most mature lyrics. Other songs have an electronic feel with distorted vocals, while others are just a single acoustic guitar. At least Duckworth is eclectic.
All in all it is a non offensive album with a youthful and lively feel to it that is going so draw in a lot of young fans. And to his credit Duckworth is at least trying to be political, but his attempts are perhaps all too naive to be taken seriously.
The press are calling it Emo- folk, a blend of dangly fringes, bedroom depression and acoustic guitars. I'd say that is a pretty good assessment of this album.