MARTIN ROSSITER "The Defenestration of St Martin"
Cast out, and unjustly forgotten by the cloth-eared ambulance chasers that are the press and media, Martin Rossiter – vocal god, formerly of Gene, who suffered by being brilliant surrounded by sludge that drowned them in a screaming morass of mediocre options such as Shed Seven and Menswear – breaks cover with his first solo record. With just a voice and a piano, Rossiter writes songs that are so much further on from any of his then contemporaries, it's embarrassing for the rest, in what will become for me, very probably, my record of the year.
“Three Points On A Compass”, just one man and a piano, is a ten minute eulogy on the nature of absent fathers. The only thing you gave me was this name, this stupid name. Whereas many of his contemporaries create a tinderbox of wrapping and lies to obscure the fact there is nothing at the heart of the work, and nothing for them to say, and it is all guitars and lights signifying nothing, Rossiter takes the opposite approach that less is more, and in this, a beautiful, sincere album, one man and a piano explore the world in a way that is both timeless and relevant, as if the outside world is just clouds around who we are. When you look at the world, and how we live within it, like an astronaut would after landing, how absurd is life? Here, Martin addresses the heart and the mind and the soul, not merely in the context of the world, but with an acute understanding of what it is that makes a man a man. Though there is a mild touch of Queen in “I Must Be Jesus”, though that is no bad thing at all.
These are not necessarily easy songs : not for this the sudden pop rush of a song from fifteen years ago, but a considered and careful song. The world has changed since the last millenia and this must have done the same. Over 50 minutes, Rossiter writes a suite of powerful, sincere, and utterly genuine songs that cut to the heart. If you'd prefer to listen to Ben Howard I pity your musical poverty, and am jealous of the simple way in which you must see the world.