Following the release of his 2010 debut record, Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, Berlin based, British singer/songwriter Jim Kroft returns with his fantastic sophomore release The Hermit and the Hedonist and with this latest 11 track collection the musician proves he is no one-hit wonder.
Pulling out all the stops for The Hermit and the Hedonist Kroft has compiled a well orchestrated pop masterpiece. His vocals drip throughout the record with a rawness and vulnerability that grabs hold of your heartstrings as he spills his feelings out on tracks like the harmoniously composed Modern Monk which is a sublime addition to The Hermit and the Hedonist with its beautiful melody that sits gently atop a stunning string section led by a resonating violin that guides Kroft through five minutes of his best work to date.
No stone is left unturned on The Hermit and the Hedonist and Kroft’s sound seems to age like a fine wine as his sophomore release radiates maturity and refinement from start to end. It’s balanced equally between the uptempo and the sentimental offering up a track-listing bursting with versatility and variety.
With The Jailer’s persistent declaration of “doing the best that I can” the singer takes us on a journey carried by minimal instrumentation but creating an effective and semi-anthemic ditty well worthy of radio play with its memorable guitar riffs played throughout the track and its complimenting, gospel tinged backing vocals.
Further down the record Canary In The Coalmine sees Kroft going back to his roots and offering a track more reminiscent of his debut record Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea than this more matured project. The track oozes acoustic brilliance while the vocal style offered on the track is more quick paced than heard on any other track on The Hermit and the Hedonist and it proves a style that Kroft pulls off with ease and precision.
With an electronic opening the closing Morning Breaks guides us to the end of the record and provides a nostalgic, melancholic outro as Kroft’s echoed vocals churn out lines like “i feel like I’m wasting away” with its haunting fade out vocal effects and a track twisting through a series of haunting melodies and moving lyrics providing further evidence of this musician’s musical capabilities and talents.
As a huge fan of Kroft’s debut The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea I suspected that I was going to enjoy this latest record and I was dead on the mark with that assumption. The Hermit and the Hedonist is a record well deserving of chart success with it’s many hook laden nuggets offered from one of the best songwriters to emerge from the indie/pop scene over the past couple of years.
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