The Voice UK semi-finalist Jordan Gray AKA stage name Tall Dark Friend’s album The Baffled King (2015) is a great listen. It sounds very commercial and yet very new and original at the same time which is quite a difficult balance to get so she did a very good job of that. The album, which takes it’s name from a line in Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, is a mixture of songs which are very different from each other but which all slot very well into their places on the album.
Let’s take a look at each track individually:
When I Do
The opening track is a beautifully pieced together track about her journey as a transgender woman. The music is stunning. The music has this gorgeous theatrical quality. You feel like you are in a theatre. Very ethereal. It’s quite delicate in parts and powerful in others. It’s beautiful and a perfect opening track.
The lyrics in this song about not been able to afford things are very easy to relate to for me as a working-class girl. Outside of that, it is a very well put together song which flows from the verses to the chorus with effortless ease. A warm and vibrant song.
This is a stunning ballad with some pretty cool beatboxing in the middle. The chorus is catchy and it’ll stick in your head long after you’ve listened to it.Very melodious. The piano is lovely in it and it increases and decreases in volume at a perfect pace.
Hang With The Happiness
This is one of my favourites. It’s very pop/R’n’ B and has a good beat. It’s so bright, vibrant and feel-good. A wonderful track. And again the chorus is really catchy. Endlessly-playable.
Girl With the Fringe
This song builds and builds throughout which makes it textured and well-rounded. A very unified and upbeat song.
Honey, I’m Home
This is a very soulful bluesy track. Jordan’s vocal is just gorgeous on it. It’s a beautiful ballad which is filled with texture and is very polished, tender and romantic.
Now You Need Me (Now You Don’t)
This song has a good beat to it. Very rhythimic and catchy.
Didn’t You Know?
This is one of my favourites. It’s such a beautiful, stunningly crafted track. Jordan’s vocal is just so emotive and sublime. She has an excellent storytelling vocal across the 14 tracks and that quality in her vocal shows through very much on this song.
This is very catchy. It’s a feel-good, fun song that’ll get you dancing and is highly-listenable.
More Than Mates (You & Me)
This is another one of my favourites. It’s a very catchy song, once you listen to it once you’ll probably listen to it on repeat for ages after, you have been warned. It’s a bit pop and a bit rock and is so layered and so sprawling. Very cleverly-written and dynamic.
Way Back When
After More Than Mates (You & Me) I think we all do need a ballad to relax and that comes in the form of Way Back When. It’s a very emotive ballad that is very passionate and cohesive.
King of Hands
This song is another favourite of mine. The music and Jordan’s vocal combined with the lyrics is very emotive and this track probably will make you cry. Or possibly that’s just me. Yeah probably to be fair. 🙂 An absolutely stunning track, it’s beautifully crafted, just glorious.
See My Bones
A very raw and refined ballad. Beautiful and expansive.
The closing track Zero closes the album perfectly. It has a dynamic feel to it and also has a theatrical feel so to have that slight similarity between the opening and closing tracks instrumentally gives the album a very cohesive feel. Stunning and dramatic close to the album.
The Baffled King by Tall Dark Friend is currently available to purchase on iTunes: