Alan Bonner – Balladeer

I ask the question, with the likes of Rufus Wainwright, Tori Amos and Antony and the Johnsons existing, is there room in the world for another emotive, piano-based, singer-songwriter? Yes, probably. Is the person destined to fill that space Alan Bonner? In my humble opinion, sadly not.

Bonner was born and raised in Suffolk, moving to London to pursue his music career. He graduated from the Brighton Institute of Modern Music in 2007, and has performed extensively through the UK and Europe. ‘Balladeer’ is due to be released on the 4th March. It houses nine, mostly piano based, ballads.

It’s a shame, I really wanted to like this album, yet at times I had to remind myself that I’m not listening to a Tim Minchin parody. The album is laced with cliches and the only feelings I acquire from the record are that of slight embarrassment on Alan’s behalf.

Each song seems a little too try-hard, with relatively poorly sang, weak lyrics that long for pretentiousness, but aren’t quite clever enough.

A song I quite liked, however, was the album’s 4th offering, ‘Little M’. Alan devotes this song to his new born-sister. There’s an element of beauty in that one, at least, and a song concept that is seldom written about.

The production of the album is, unfortunately, as shoddy as the songwriting, and while it remains, in entirety, rather minimal in arrangement, I almost can’t understand how that’s possible. I think it would have probably been easier to make it sound good.

In summary, I just can’t imagine that there’s an audience for Alan Bonner. I cannot see his appeal. There’s a plethora of musicians executing what Alan is attempting and, I feel, executing it on a much, much grander scale than him, at least at the moment anyway. I don’t know, perhaps I’m wrong.