Record nerds will note that Dean Blunt lifted the prayer hands from Otis G. Johnson’s God Is Love for The Redeemer (and Dean Blunt nerds will note that this was a full two years before Champagne Papi did it), and Blunt's breakthrough solo effort isn’t too far off from Johnson’s low-budget gospel epic in terms of lyrics or sound design either. Compared to the woozy noise-dub atmospherics of his (at the time) main project Hype Williams, The Redeemer is remarkably forthcoming, earnest, and hi-fi; a line in the sand between Hype Williams and his current run of anything-goes solo projects (a fan-favorite album of jazz-funk and neo-soul under the name Blue Iverson was just issued on vinyl). It’s a painfully vulnerable breakup record comprised mostly of Blunt’s upfront confessionals delivered in short, husky bursts over a bed of Roland Fantom strings, broken glass, canned rock drums and overdriven Puff Daddy samples. Between near-indecipherable voicemail interludes from a disgruntled ex, Blunt weaves an odd patchwork of rustic UK folk (“Seven Seals Of Affirmation,” “Imperial Gold”), freeform post-punk (“All Dogs Go To Heaven”), choral new age (“Flaxen,” “Y3”) and sloppy drunk-dial confessionals (“Make It Official,” “Need 2 Let U Go") over samples so brazenly obvious (Kate Bush, Pink Floyd, etc.) you can’t help but smile. The apex is the epic “Demon,” a visceral trumpet and vibraphone-laced duet with UK folk songstress Joanne Robertson; other highlights include the melancholy slack-blues ballad “Papi,” Bon Iver-on-promethazine “Walls Of Jericho” and the title track featuring Inga Copeland and Arca. There’s a puzzling, dreamlike force propelling the record - at any point, you never know who or what will show up next, or how far in or out of the rabbit hole you are. Released on now-defunct Hippos In Tanks, get it now before it's out of print forever. Recommended.
- black vinyl pressing
- embossed jacket
- music label: Hippos In Tanks 2013
reviewed by william, shotgun sprayer 02/2018