Best Revelling in Gloom: Fink, Perfect Darkness.

Fin Greenall is something of a rarity in that despite having collaborated with more household names than there are on the entirety of the Ninja Tune roster, he is both accommodated and complimented by his belonging to the revered label. 2007's Distance And Time ushered Fink into a distinctly more public consciousness, as he succeeded in uniting an unremitting compositional intensity with the pulsating acoustic emotivity that's fleshed out many a US drama blockbusting, buck-busting soundtrack. Aspersions have never been cast over his artistic integrity, and Perfect Darkness, his fifth long-playing effort sees Greenall once more pluck away in baleful, guttural solemnity.

Its eponymous opener induces sensations of being involuntarily buoyed and buffeted by the billowing myriad sounds of an acoustic guitar trilled and rattled, before the willowy Yesterday Was Hard On All Of Us douses calming balm on the schizophrenic raucous/restrain dichotomy of Fear Is Like Fire. Bred if not born in Bristol, the deep blues jaunt of Wheels, an homage to the West Country's hub of counterculture, feels as though it's fished an eye-over-shoulder disquietude up from the Bearpit, the city's notorious subway haunt, whilst the preceding Honesty, embellished with subtle strings that smoulder beneath Greenall's full-bodied croon and mesmeric chimes of acoustic, is vivid to the point of becoming quite confrontational. A solitary yet repeated expletive adds a suitable air of agitation to an already excellently unnerving listen, as Greenall mordantly seethes: "It's taken long enough to see your true colours... You got so many baby, you're like a fucking rainbow." Were Greenall yet another Foster/Finn/Francis Leftwich these few truly astounding minutes would be entitled Colours or something equally banal, yet as he goes on to plead to "revel in your bloom", further impassioned method is added to this dour, wondrously brooding melancholy, whilst the much-derided and dirtied singer-songwriter epithet is simultaneously polished. In the wake of this bipartite fulcrum of the record however, the remainder is comparatively insignificant: Who Says teeters on the brink of imbalance, so intriguing are its off-kilter pockets of treble yet peters out in predictable crescendo; Save It For Somebody Else is delightfully woebegone although lacks definitive identity; and Foot In The Door comes across a little like Bon Iver by way of Nitin Sawhney swelling soundscape. However, as Berlin Sunrise signals the sunset on this intermittently Perfect Darkness, the overwhelming impression is one of conflictual emotional response, for its conjurer dwells perhaps exhaustively in the major key, the scale in which he's seemingly less magic. Morrissey once affirmed to wanting to see the boy happy. Regardless of personal wellbeing, musically, misery much better befits the inscrutably deft singer-songwriter that Greenall has become.