Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
Basically, the album is beautiful. It's just sheer and utter beauty. The songs are so pure and raw that you can't help but get sucked in to the essence of each different one. The lyrics are, at times, just simply stunning, yet at other times completely haunting. I've found myself, on several occasions, listening to the album repeatedly from start to finish just to even come close to comprehending his mindset for certain songs. I find his ability, in certain songs, to mask such dark lyrics with such beautiful melodies incredible. Although, I do feel like it doesn't fit sometimes and I would consider that to be a bit of a flaw in a few tracks. The standout tracks to me are 'The Meaning of the Ritual' and 'The Pact (I'll Be Your Fever)' simply because I believe them to be the strongest lyrically and they are the easiest to listen to. However, I continue to be haunted by 'I Saw the Dead' with each listen, not only by the lyrics but also the piano riff, which never fails to give me shivers.
As well as the album, there is a series of videos he has posted on YouTube, where he performs some of the songs in his house, which I would also recommend. I find the emotion he can express in his live performances astonishing. I remember watching his performance of the eponymous track 'Becoming a Jackal' at the Mercury Music Prize Awards, in which he was nominated for 'Album of the Year', and I was literally on the verge of tears at the end of the song. I have never been so affected by a performance of a song: I had goosebumps, I got shivers and, as I said, I felt like I was about to cry. It was amazing, to say the least. I've posted the video below so you can see what I mean. Enjoy :)