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“Almost too serious” said Howard of his second album, and sure enough there he is on the monochrome cover, brows furrowed and half-wreathed in darkness. Yet whilst this is a more shadowed affair than his BRIT-seizing debut there’s little here to alienate his fanbase: these ten tracks might sprawl in length but they’ve a familiar mesh of earnest words and slow, slow build, autumnal in hue but with a fireside warmth.

The E-bowing grows a little wearing, perhaps, but there’s an appealing economy to the songwriting and a restraint that makes the breaks – particularly ‘The End Of The Affair’s bruising cataclysm – all the more biting.

7/10

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