Why would [a]Tim Hutton[/a] want to do this to himself?

In general terms, anyone who appears naked in public gets arrested. Since legislation hasn’t yet been introduced to prevent artists from appearing emotionally bare on record, [a]Tim Hutton[/a] can rest easy.

But he made a big mistake when he thought he could re-invent himself as a singer/songwriter. As the experimental mind behind Soul Ascendants and Vulva, he’s had supporters and patrons in the past. This sad opus, however, a veritable suite of self-flagellation, takes the biscuit.

The confessional, done properly, is a high art indeed. To hear a man serenade himself with a world-weary voice, steeped in regret, as if he’s reading a grocery list, though, is just too much… Even the sarcasm of ‘You’re So Sane’ and the backhanded compliments of ‘Eugene’ cannot stem a mounting sense of embarrassment.

Why would [a]Tim Hutton[/a] want to do this to himself? And despite the lo-fi, if accomplished, soporific shuffle beats and electronic detritus, every time another episode of navel-gazing takes flight, the listener wants to yell, ‘Snap out of it, man’.

And when the title track, finally, conjures up a scenario of ruined beauty, amid angelic accompaniment, it dawns that our enjoyment is because Mr Hutton has actually shown some restraint. He could’ve shown a lot more.