Humanist: Humanist (Ignition) Review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Apr 13, 2020 Humanist Bookmark and Share

To be able to call upon the talents of Mark Lanegan, Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan, Ride’s Mark Gardner, Carl Hancox Rux, John Robb, Joel Cadbury (South), Else Marta, Ron Sexsmith, and Jim Jones in order to round out the cast of your debut album is no ordinary feat, but then Humanist is no ordinary artist and this is no ordinary debut solo album. Rob Marshall’s progression to this point has been a long one—from Lyca Sheep, via the seminal Exit Calm, to being a key cog in the production of recent Mark Lanegan albums, amongst the work of many others, all the way to releasing this potent debut—but every step along the way feels worthwhile when the listener takes in these 14 tracks.

Whether on the passionate “Beast of the Nation,” on the punishing “Skull,” or on the writhing “Gospel,” two things are readily apparent: first that this is the album that Marshall was born to make and, second, that whatever one says about the songwriting and the high-caliber guests that round out the ensemble, it is the power and intricacy of Marshall’s guitar work that makes the album the truly special offering that it is. Layer upon layer of glorious work carries almost every song here. Yes, the production is stellar. Yes, the vocal contributions of the various guests would normally be the thing that stole the headlines in a piece about an album like this but it is to the immense credit of Humanist that what stays with you after the last tortured notes have wrung out is just how much you’d give to hear these songs live and feel the force and emotion of his playing cut you right to the core. This will end up being one of 2020’s best albums, have no doubt about that. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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