ALBUM REVIEW: Blue-John Benjamin – Mythical Creatures | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Brimming with mystery, overflowing with idiosyncratic ideas, melting with melodious melodies our spirited guide takes us on a fabulous circuit around eccentric English folk, pop and electro.

Mythical Creatures is delving beneath the shredded tourist skin and unpicking the bones of an undead Deadtown. Sampling the very essences of what he terms Whitby-esque. “With flea market gadgetry, we will fashion songs of Whitby jet.”

 A love letter to Whitby he exclaims.

You don’t have to know Whitby to follow our guide. I suspect there is a little bit of this strange dark town lurking in all our neighbourhoods. With all the lyrical flourishes and surreal states of Yorkshireman Lewis Carroll – perhaps more Edward Lear than Thomas Leer – Blue-John sings for his supper, punctuated by his poems, through other voicings.

Musical collaborations from jazz to electro channel the music down different streams of original and enriching sound before returning for a second half to time travel to new routes and roots of some traditional folk standards.

There is so much to take on board and I love the idea of a narrated Introduction at the end, unshackling one layer of secrets but just like an enigma inside a mystery it opens the doors on further layers of meaning, mood and music. It whets the appetite to hit the play again button. This guy deserves to be known far beyond the confines of the North Sea coastal town. Mythical Creatures, the debut album by singer songsmith Blue-John Benjamin is a masterwork.

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