Familial - Nonesuch
FILTER Grade: 77%
By Aura Jespersen on September 8, 2010
In addition to handling the drumming duties for Radiohead’s upcoming eighth studio album, drummer Philip Selway has found time to release his first solo effort. Familial is a soft, sparse, and intensely introspective acoustic record with Selway debuting as a singer-songwriter. Despite Radiohead-reminiscent moments, Selway has established his own identity on Familial, which seems to be very fragile. The album is carried by light acoustic picking and Selway’s soft vocals. He is not a bad singer—or a great one. The lyrics don’t really convey much beyond a constant sense of quiet longing and melancholy. The minimal and very effective use of instrumentation and percussion work by talented musicians certainly creates a pleasant backdrop, but it’s as safe and traditional as Radiohead is inventive and experimental. Familial sits in one mood and stays there—it’s unfortunately not one you would like to be in for very long.