Clementine: I dream, I smile, I walk, I cry
I don’t always understand his lyrics but when I do, or at least when I think I do, I always think; ”YES”. There are a lot of artists and musicians who make me feel a certain way, their work evoke either joy or sadness, anger or some other very specific emotion, but very few confuse & simultaneously delight me.
The first Benjamin Clementine song I heard was “London” immediately I was struck by the strange & weirdly beautiful lyrics “Honestly I don’t drink but if I did this would be my favourite punch” and “you’re pretending but no-one's buying”…I quickly went to iTunes and found more of his music.
Benjamin is an artist, poet, composer and a recording musician from London. His lyrics are true poetry indeed, they make you question and think - one of the many reasons why he’s known as ‘ a man of unusual intelligence’. You only have to listen to "St. Clementine on tea and croissants" to experience his peculiarity which hooks you in and leaves you wanting more. There’s something so intense about his music, this of course aided by his insanely impressive vocal ability and strong song structure.
With lyrics like: “my heart is a mellow drum…..set alight by echoes of pain 24-7”, “the decision is mine cos the vision is mine. let the lesson be mine” or “if chewing was to show you how much I cared I’d be probably be wearing dentures by now”, the subject of his poetry ranges from love, expectations, pain, loneliness, mistakes, relationships, life and its demons.
On his music he had this to say to the Guardian in an interview: “…is me speaking directly to you. I’ve learned in the little bit of my life so far that you can’t fool people. And so I only tell people what I think about; my ambitions, my dreams, what inspires me.”
Every time I listen to "condolences" I can’t help but wonder if Benjamin might actually be the greatest musician and poet of our time.