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

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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.