Handful of Diamonds
This album starts with a song called Handful of Diamonds. This song is fun, catchy, and has a poppy feel without being too poppy. At times it reminds me of a Dutch song from like 10 years ago by a band called Abel. It was one of those songs that everyone liked. And Handful of Diamonds has that same quality. It just is a good listen.
Last Rose has a really rootsy/americana feel to it, and that works really well for the song. The soothing and soulful vocals are filled with emotion and that is what connects you to the song. Musically the song is pretty catchy, and the backing vocals are well-chosen. It’s a song that you can move your foot to and that will get stuck in your head after a couple listens.
Clean And Counterfeit
This song has an interesting alternative folk feel to it. When the keys come in, it accentuates the chilling atmosphere of this song. Lyrically the song is pretty clever as well. But what impressed me most is the interaction between the words and the music. It is perfectly matched.
The album continues with Tourism which is my favorite song on this CD. Lyrically it tells a story, like a story-telling poem, and being a poet myself, I can appreciate that. The music amplifies the words and the story they tell. It’s a quality in music that I’ve always been drawn too, and also because of the vocal harmonies that are featured in the song, it sometimes reminds me of Twarres, which still is one of my all time favorite bands. So if I compare you to them, it is meant as a compliment.
While the intention of Just is inspiring, the song isn’t what it potentially could be. Vocally, this is not Hungry Bentley’s best track, and musically it seems like he was trying a little bit too hard. The arrangement in itself is quite brilliant, and perhaps a re-recording at a later time would make me wildly enthusiastic about this song, but for the moment, it does not convince me.
Dot Dot Dot
Listening to this next song was a pleasure. It’s more uptempo, and the vocals and the lyrics interact perfectly once again. Hungry Bentley is right back on track with Dot Dot Dot. He takes you on a journey throughout the song and it’s a very pleasant journey.
The americana influences are back in the commercially most attractive song on this album, Expectation River. It’s immensely catchy and sung very well. It has a good ring to it which I believe is right for potentially being a successful radio single. At times it reminds me of Hungry Bentley’s fellow countrymen Alphaspin, who have the same capability of crafting a wonderful pop song that people just want to listen to.
Book of Invasions
Book of Invasions is a musical adaptation of a poem by Nigel McLoughlin. The full sound really creates an atmosphere where the words are central. The words are what this song is about, and with a good reason. The words are magnificent and the picture they paint is excellently portrayed through the music. A very succesful adaptation of the poem.
John Clayton, aka Hungry Bentley has presented us with an album that is both highly impressive and musically appealing. With well crafted pop songs and influences ranging from various directions this 8-piece is something that has potential of reaching out to the masses. With the right promotion strategy, Hungry Bentley might well become a household name.