Martin Rossiter – The Defenestration of St Martin
Eight years since the curtain came down on Gene, Martin Rossiter has lost none of his earnestness or theatricality. Grandly opening the grandly titled The Defenestration of St Martin with a ten-minute ballad, his melancholic croon is as bruised and brooding as ever, even if the song’s subject matter (a bitter indictment of poor parenting, anchored by the line “the only thing I got from you was my name”) leaves him sounding overwrought by the end.
But though unashamedly emotional, he’s self-aware with it, as proven by the tongue-in-cheek melodrama of I Must Be Jesus, in which the tortured narrator wallows in self-pity and compares his suffering to Christ prostrate on the cross. The simplicity of the arrangements (almost exclusively piano and voice throughout) will undoubtedly limit the album’s appeal, with only negligible variety in sound and a terminally stark tone, but the eloquence and elegance of the songwriting is undeniable. [Chris Buckle]