Album Review: Collections from the Whiteout by Ben Howard
Very Good, Based on 3 Critics
The Line of Best Fit - 70 Based on rating 7/10
Too naturally talented to sit amongst the Ed Sheeran 's of the world, but too unadventurous to be put on a table completely on his own, his formula of guitars with a foreboding darkness has made him fade in and out of public consciousness since the release of his platinum selling debut in 2011. But his fourth studio album is different. Collections from the Whiteout pops with life and colour.
Ben Howard was a laid-back star of English neo-folk who garnered comparisons to José González and wrote songs with titles like "Keep Your Head Up." But in 2014, he released "End of the Affair," a dramatic, tortured single that stretched towards eight minutes. His subsequent album I Forget Where We Were was successful enough to top the UK album charts and thoughtful enough that Jason Isbell cited the title track as an influence. The 2018 follow-up, Noonday Dream, was a relative disappointment, full of druggy mood pieces without the craft of Where We Were or the hooks of his debut, 2011's Every Kingdom.
In a parallel universe, Ben Howard is probably rivalling Ed Sheeran for the title of Britain’s most successful acoustic troubadour. It’s easy to forget just how well received his debut album Every Kingdom was when it was released in 2011, with many tracks becoming regular fixtures on the soundtracks for TV shows and video games. Yet Howard’s career has taken an arguably more interesting course over the last decade than stadium tours and million selling records.