CD REVIEW: Ben Howard "These Waters"

A guy and a guitar seems to be everywhere these days. So, why not another one, right? Well, in Ben Howard's case, this guy with a guitar has something that not many others have: uniqueness. He's not a copycat version of every other pop songsmith out there. He's truly got a sound all to himself. He combines his British descent with simplistic tunes and clever production to unleash a subtle, mellow, and yet complex debut EP. Sure you can draw comparisons to Chris Martin, David Gray, and even Newton Faulkner, but that is only to say that his sound and his music can be put in the same league and fans of those will surely be fans of Howard. Ben, on this EP, delivers an outstanding performance of intimate and lyrically beautiful songs that transcend the stereotype that he is surely going to be pushed into. Standout songs include "Cloud Nine," which is by far one of the best songs this year, and the lead off track "The Wolves."