At Least for Now

At Least for Now

by Benjamin Clementine


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Although sparsely attended to with strings, percussion, and a few other ornamentations, Benjamin Clementine's debut album, At Least for Now, makes its case as a one-man show for piano and voice. The compelling British singer/songwriter is dramatic, self-assured, and theatrical in the extreme, boasting a powerful voice that swells to fill the room, which, on this unique record, seems to expand and shrink at the drop of a hat. A native of Edmonton in East London, Clementine left home at 16, eventually devoting himself to the lifestyle of an artistic vagabond, busking on the streets of Paris where he developed an unconventional style that blends together bits of soul, classical, opera, and street folk. A chance discovery by a French promoter led to bigger performances, a pair of acclaimed EPs, and a deal with Capitol. Opening his debut with "Winston Churchill's Boy," he boldly repurposes parts of the prime minister's famed WWII speech into an austere paean to his own journey of self-discovery. Like many of the songs on At Least for Now, it takes time to develop, but his magnetic delivery commands attention and his unusual songcraft is consistently interesting. "Adios," with its rapid-fire piano minimalism, seems to contain all of Clementine's vocal personalities as he soulfully opens up his lungs in the verses, only to half-bark the choruses before inserting a rambling spoken word rant about angels midway through. There's no shortage of standouts, with "London" and the skittering cabaret of "Nemesis" among the album's best moments. The stark, melodramatic "Cornerstone," a centerpiece of his first EP, makes another appearance here to great effect. At Least for Now is a pop record of sorts, but completely on his own terms, and like Antony Hegarty (an acknowledged influence) and Rufus Wainwright, two artists who have similar aspirations of pseudo-classical grandeur, Clementine will no doubt be polarizing for many listeners. There is no question, however, of his raw talent, poeticism, and knack for beguiling melodies, and in this oversaturated market, the true mavericks will always rise above the din.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/31/2015
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0602547169648
catalogNumber: 002339802
Rank: 105951

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Benjamin Clementine   Primary Artist,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Vocals
Chris Laurence   Group Member
Martin Loveday   Group Member
Rita Manning   Group Member
Boguslaw Kostecki   Group Member
Bruce White   Group Member
Jonathan Quarmby   Bass
David Daniels [cello]   Group Member
Ian Humphries   Group Member
Everton Nelson   Group Member
Ian Rathbone   Group Member
Ian Burdge   Cello,Group Member
Stacey Watton   Group Member
Julien Gaben   Violin
Max Baillie   Group Member
Christopher Tombling   Group Member
Bozidar Vukotic   Group Member
Alison Dods   Group Member
Oliver Langford   Group Member
Alexis Bossard   Drums
Barbara Leliepvre   Cello
François Villevieille   Violin
Manu Sauvage   Bass,Keyboards
Caroline Dearnly   Group Member
ESP   Strings
Sylvain Favre-Bulle   Violin

Technical Credits

Jonathan Quarmby   Producer,Engineer
Richard Woodcraft   Engineer,Management
Marlon B.   Producer,Engineer
Geoffroy "Djouf" Berlioz   Engineer
Benjamin Clementine   Composer,Producer
Matthieu Gazier   Executive Producer

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At Least for Now 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to admit I haven't bought this yet, but its on my wishlist. You must be in a sort of pensive mood to listen to this artist. "Condolences" is particularly nice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to admit I haven't bought this yet, but its on my wishlist. You must be in a sort of pensive mood to listen to this artist. "Condolences" is particularly nice.