Our devotion for Kwabs at the Walrus is undeniable, but I was far from imagining that his debut album would turn out to be one of my favourites of the year so far. I’d say that people who were into his music would expect a solid debut, however, with the number of instant hits such as “Fight For Love”, “On My Own” or “Make You Mine”, we’re talking here about a wonderful pop record which should have been among the Mercury Prize Award’s albums of the year. I couldn’t be more surprised and obviously happy to see that Kwabs’ talent surpassed even the more optimistic expectations.
The opener is an incredible tune, which combines the epic nature that could be found on previous ones (“Last Stand”) with some groovy synths and let’s not forget that irresistible brief guitar squeal. For a moment I recall another stunning and similar sounding debut, Jessie Ware’s Devotion.
“Perfect Ruin” is the ballad that will conquer hearts and charts, no doubt of that. One somewhat feels that the quiet and mysterious piano song “Brother” on the “Pray for Love EP” was kind of preparing the ground for this one.
“Father Figure” isn’t as great as many of the other songs, but it’s still a charmful pop tune and when we get to the soulfully and discreet finale (“Cheating On Me”) , a more familiar listener to his previous releases, won’t even have taken notice that big tunes like “Walk” and “Wrong or Right” were there at all. So let’s rewind it a couple more times, shall we?