The title of Lewis Capaldi’s debut album might seem amusing on the surface, but Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent is in fact a very fitting description for the record.
Even with his biggest single Someone You Loved, it is almost impossible to distinguish one slow, sad, piano ballad from the next. Every verse is delivered predictably, in mumbled tones, before giving way to shouted choruses.
Even though lyrics like, “I wish that I was good enough/If only I could wake you up, my love”, in Hold Me While You Wait would normally hit like a truck, Capaldi remains in such a characterless state of heartbreak that even Adele’s saddest songs would seem cheerful by comparison.
Individually, a lot of these tracks are bearable, sometimes pleasant – but 12 becomes an ordeal. Thankfully, there are a couple of moments of respite. Don’t Get Me Wrong features a refreshing gospel swing and bluesy organ, while folk-pop song Hollywood is a good singalong number.
Despite showing so much promise in the lead up to this album, Capaldi needs to diversify his style and structures if he wants to hold onto his audience.