Blek Ink

Blek Ink

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AllMusic Review by

Blek Ink's self-titled album is charming chiefly because it seems utterly un-self-conscious. A restrained mood prevails here; Paul Lydon, the only member of Blek Ink, sings in such a relaxed manner that his vocals sometimes seem stream of consciousness, and he usually only accompanies himself with an instrument or two. His clean-toned, meandering guitar playing is especially noteworthy -- on first listen, it sounds out of tune, but subsequent listens reveal that it has its own weird logic. Many of the songs sound like minor alterations would give them full-fledged pop hooks, but Lydon seems oblivious to this possibility, and instead lets his almost-hooks hang in the air while the songs wander off. Blek Ink shares many traits with the affecting not-quite-pop album Unknown Country by the New Zealand group the Clean: both albums feature musicians switching instruments frequently and playing simply, but in a way that doesn't really sound like anyone else. Also, both records feature strange, impressionistic songs that charm the listener through suggestion rather than repetition.

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