Benjamin Amos is ready to showcase his musical talents with his debut album, Letters. He describes this release as an “intimate and honest collection of letters in musical form, from the last ten years of his life. Some delivered, some yet to be delivered, and some he’s too scared to send”. His singles “Never Far From Home”, “Maelstrom”, and “Archie” gave us a glimpse of what to expect from it. Now, you can hear his collection of stories in full as Letters is out for us all to hear.
It all begins with “Maelstrom”. A song that highlights what the album has to offer and the various talents of Amos. It opens up with an acoustic guitar before he starts his story. He does so with the lines, “I lost my love to the maelstrom / Between Jura and Scarba’s strait”. From this moment, his vocals have a compelling warmth that makes you pay attention. This trait continues as the song progresses, with the piano and other musical layers providing a stunning soundtrack. There are times when he adds more power to his voice. When he does, it still sounds equally impressive. It is an excellent choice to open up the album. Next up is “Archie”. The mood softens as his guitar and vocals take the spotlight, showing there is more than one side to the music he creates.
“The Weight” offers another outstanding vocal performance, especially as it blends with the ebb and flow of its soundtrack. It starts with a gentle tone that excels as he shares the words, “There’s a weight, there’s a weight / There’s a weight, and I’ve never felt it before”. But there are two moments when Amos and the band intensify the mood by adding a punch to their delivery. From start to finish, it is a sublime listening experience with so much to enjoy. “Never Far From Home” focuses on the upbeat mood and the story. Like all those before it, it is another excellent showcase of his songwriting talents.
“Closer” offers another to-and-fro vocal performance by Amos. The verses have a spoken feel about them, the hook sees him add a little passion to his delivery. The details he adds to his lyrics show how important this is to his craft. “Difficult To Tell” is one of many examples of this talent at its finest. He talks about the things that are difficult to say, such as, “Can I tell you that I need you, that I want you? / For that, I will never lie to you, is it difficult to tell?”. The message is simple, but the scenes he paints with his words are another of the many qualities that give his songs an irresistible charm.
His captivating storytelling continues into “Foreigners”. Yet again, his way with words shines, especially with moments such as, “Memories are wild animals, hard to tame impossible to order / They’ll creep, and they’ll lurch, they’ll bite your ankles too / Then they will turn on you when you least expect them to”. Following on comes “Now I Know I Need You”. The combination of his voice with the accompanying soundtrack creates an audio delight for the ears. The musical ingredients of the various instruments are just right to produce a captivating atmosphere.
Amos takes the listener on a journey for “Hawthorn Dene” and the memories that come with it. Yet again, the scenes he shares with his words highlight his lyrical talents. Now comes the final track of the album “Black Baloon”. It offers a gentle intro with the lines, “Your dad treated me like a son, said we’d never be alone / I wish I could talk to you”. It effortlessly flows as Amos delivers yet another captivating story. Before it comes to an end, the band explode into life to share, “There’s no use counting to ten, a black balloon in the sky / Well you’re not coming back, I just want things the way that they were”. Before slowing back down to repeat, “So I can tie your string to a rock”.
Benjamin Amos uses his letters to paint various scenes with his storytelling. Combine with a captivating soundtrack ‘Letters’ is an album that deserves your listening time.
Letters is a collection of songs of the highest calibre. Some stand out more than others, but not by much. It’s because there is no weak moment within this release and credit to what Benjamin Amos has created. There is so much to relate to and enjoy while you listen. It is an album that deserves all the praise it will receive. If you appreciate an artist with outstanding lyrical and storytelling abilities, this is the album for you!