Right, let’s just address this at the start: we’re aware that literally every post we’ve made about Daughn Gibson has alluded to our wildly unprofessional attraction to his striking figure and that blues baritone. His voice is unequivocally one of our favourites in the world of music these days in that, putting it bluntly, it’s pure sex. Like a more honeyed Cash, Gibson’s voice is still the star in this second outing as a solo artist – coarse, impenetrable, manly, it’s the sort of voice that would throw you around the bedroom and maybe even punch you during coitus (and you’d ruddy love it).
So we’re obviously a little bit taken by the man, especially as All Hell was a spine-tingling introduction to his brand of trucker blues. Me Moan opened his sound up a bit, adding more spacious instrumentation (a frantic treat on The Sound of Law), and his latest effort Carnation rather appropriately blooms into some full-scale electronic production.
That sound of Law trickles through Carnation’s lead single, Shatter You Through. It’s instantly clear that Gibson has chosen not to dominate the production with his voice, but rather have it run alongside. That’s not entirely a good thing though, mainly because nothing seems to be able to match up to it or do it justice. When it appears, it occasionally gets to penetrate the blinds of overwrought electronica, though mostly it remains swallowed.
The album does have its moments though. Runaway and the Pyro is Gibson at his best, Shine of the Night pulses with a Springsteen hangover (sax included), and it’s a joy to hear Gibson wade through the murky swamp of For Every Bite, albeit vocoded. There’s still a sense of that sweaty truckstop-bathroom testosterone in Gibson’s work – especially in the defiant subject matter of Daddy I Cut My Hair and the chamber funeral of A Rope Ain’t Enough – but the edge and excitement seems missing. Carnation, as it happens, just ends up being a bit too flowery for our tastes.
Carnation by Daughn Gibson can be ordered here.