PUZZLE MUTESON – En Garde

Bedroom Community

Terry Magson (aka Puzzle Muteson) is a singer and guitarist living in the Isle Of Wight, endowed with a timbre defined by a tremulous near-female register. En Garde is his first album, and a welcome addition to Bedroom Community’s gallery of characters whose music enriches your day without overindulgence, just by the depth of elusive thoughts covered with tiny droplets of sadness. My wife, a skilled songwriter and arranger, told me that she feels like embracing and protecting this man, as if fearing that he somehow dissolves during the performance. She also notes – correctly, I’d say – a vague similitude of Magson’s accent with some of Emma Townshend’s vocal pitches (by the way, how come Pete’s talented daughter didn’t continue after her debut, 1998’s minor masterpiece Winterland?). Entirely based on a fingerpicked guitar – a harp-ish composure underlying a general sense of loneliness – and enriched by the customarily enchanting string arrangements by Nico Muhly, these ten songs are as unambiguous as regretfully caressing – and totally pleasurable. The man is indeed able to touch certain sensible points, and there are at least three tracks that stand out (“Water Rising” maybe the overall best). I don’t think there’s the need for more words of mine: if you appreciate a timid acoustic tranquillity depicted by a frail-sounding songster, this is definitely a compelling release. If not, well – one can’t listen to Borbetomagus all the time.

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