'Biscuits For Breakfast'
Ninja Tune's most laid-back beat-maker Fink has adopted a new direction as a singer-songwriter and it's a satisfying listen. A few tracks in, amongst understated slide guitar and early blues licks, it becomes apparent that Fink's allusions to artists such as John Martyn are not merely lip-service. On many tracks he assuredly places atmosphere above the obvious emotional string-pulling of some of his contemporaries. Lyrically, after a few listens there emerged similarities to Slug; calmly addressing the humdrum events of his own life, occasionally brushing against something universal. Although sinking occasionally into the hypnotic repetition of his trip-hop roots, there is enough variety throughout; the sweetness of the single Pretty Little Thing is subtly juxtaposed with the relentless melancholy of tracks like Kamlyn. Fink's delivery is not arresting, but captures with its unassuming charm on an album so relaxed that it sounds like a shrug, a sigh and then a smile. [Caroline Hurley]