By Rachel Woodward, February 28 2017 —
British singer-songwriter Rory Graham — known by his stage name Rag’n’Bone Man — returns to the music scene with Human, a soulful collection of tracks that place Graham on the map as a lyrical genius. The 19-track album is an adventure that will surely get your blood pumping and your feelings floating to the surface.
Opening track “Human” immediately immerses listeners in heavy lyrics with a familiar and comforting voice. The track hits deep with powerhouse vocals that demonstrate
Graham’s range and songwriting abilities.
Human picks up in mood with second track “Innocent Man,” which carries a more upbeat melody. The track never fails to elevate Graham’s voice above trumpet hooks and vibratos that feel more like cliffhangers than chorus-enders.
“Bitter End” gives listeners a taste of classic blues, as the album takes another dark turn into melancholic reflection for Graham.
The following track, “Be the Man,” brings the album’s spirit up while pushing a catchy melody back into the mix. At this point in the listen, Graham has created a rollercoaster of emotions, presenting upbeat notes just as your heart breaks from strong, emotional lyrics and vocals. Graham’s raspy and intense voice feels unexpected, but totally welcome.
There is a bit of a lull in the middle of the album as some slower songs settle into the halfway point. Songs can easily begin to weave together, as the album’s length begins to take a toll on the listening experience. Songs don’t fall through — they just seem transitionary.
Tracks like “Die Easy” move the long album along, but Graham works to allow each track to feel special on its own. The song begins with an acapella verse that brings the album to a heartfelt pause. Graham keeps each song distinct in sound while carrying a story of a relationship’s ups and downs throughout.
“Wolves” picks the album up again with a funky and fun melody that is easy to get into. This track might have the angriest lyrics of the album, but they are warranted, as they perfectly encapsulate Graham’s vocal strength and power. Not only does the track bring the energy back as the album begins to wrap up, but it establishes itself as a track worthy of a
Though the album is incredibly long, it leaves you asking for more. Final track “Healed” seems to be the kind of track you could listen to as you walk away from a heartbroken moment, but still feels like a perfect ending to a fantastic album.