Benjamin Bell is an English songwriter, keyboard player and multi-instrumentalist, and the mastermind behind Patchork Cacophony, which is his personal project if I’m not mistaken.
Patchwork Cacophony released its debut album in 2014, and that was the first time I listened to their name and music. It was a mostly instrumental, keyboard-driven album, with nice melodic passages, and some very interesting compositions.
Now, 2 years later since that release, Patchwork Cacophony is back with a new album, named as Five of Cups. The album’s official release date is the 7th of November, and as far as I know, it will be available in a digital downloable form and as a physical CD as well.
Trying to compare these two albums, I must say that Five of Cups is a more “serious” and “mature” work. The compositions are better, more complexed (in a good way), and the overall outcome is better by far. Also, this time Ben is singing on most of the tracks.
The album opens with the 16-minute-long Fairytale, which is a melodic and “Proggy” composition, in 4 parts, that gives to the listener a first idea of what’s going to follow. And what follows is a well-structured album, with lots of Piano/Keyboards parts,beautiful melodies and interesting passages.
Fairytale is followed by Choices, a rather “catchy” tune, which can be used as the album’s “hit” song.
3rd in line comes Counting Chickens, the only song that reminded me of Ben’s previous album.
Maybe is a Rock tune, not based on keyboards, including some beautiful guitar work instead. Another “catchy” tune.
Every Day is one of my favourite songs of the album, so far at least. A 9-minute long song, kind of a melancholic one, but beautiful.
Chasing Rainbows is an upbeat tune, which in my opinion is the “weakest” song of the album. It includes some nice moments, though.
From the Spark is an instrumental piano tune, which is absolutely wonderful! A dreamy and melodic composition, that I can’t stop listening to!
The album’s final song is the 12-minute long Brand New Day, which together with Fairytale are the “proggiest” songs of the album. One of my favourites without a doubt.
So, let’s sum up.
In my opinion, Five of Cups is a really good album, that is suitable for listeners with “open ears”. It includes beautiful moments, some dreamy and melancholic tunes, and some Rock and easy listening tunes. The compositions are improved in comparison with the previous album, and that is definitely a sign that Benjamin Bell is moving forward.
All those who enjoyed Ben’s debut album, should buy Five of Cups without a second thought! As for those who don’t know him, maybe it is time to discover him and his music.
In case you are interested, here’s Ben Bell’s bandcamp page, where you can listen to a couple of songs and buy or download the album: https://patchworkcacophony.bandcamp.com/
My rating would be 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.