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Review: Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent - Lewis Capaldi

Jonathan Wellington reviews the latest album from Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi

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Image Credit: EMI Records

I’m not sure any artist has ever had the ability to make me laugh and cry in the same way as Lewis Capaldi.
His six-week number one single ‘Someone You Loved’ has rightfully been all over our radios and his social media exploits all over our feeds. Now, his album’s out and it’s absolutely beautiful.

His latest album, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, tells the genuine story of his recent heartbreak. The sincere nature behind the lyrics is propelled forward with a brilliant vocal ability in a way that will tug at your heartstrings no matter who you are.

When the singles are as successful as Lewis Capaldi’s were, there’s always pressure on the actual album. Listening to a whole album of emotional break-up songs might not sound like a fun thing to do or, for that matter, a healthy thing to do. The album however doesn’t feel like one big long whinge. Yes, the theme is definitely heartbreak and disappointment but it’s delivered in what I think is a strong and varied way. For example, Hollywood's melody is much more upbeat than expected which works surprisingly well with the reflective self critical tone of the lyrics.

He’s not the first person to write a song, or even a whole album, about a heartbreak and he won’t be the last. However, the album will stay with me for a long time, and I will continue to belt it out in the shower every morning. It does feel slightly disrespectful to butcher his work in such spectacular fashion every morning but, as a wiser man (Daniel Powter) once said, sometimes you’ve got to “sing a sad song just to turn it around”.

I think Lewis Capaldi’s personality and online presence plays a vital role in the effect of the album. Considering the beauty of the guy’s music, I feel almost ashamed that my first real interaction with his career was watching a video of him talking about a difficult-to-flush shite he did. Despite perhaps distracting us from his music, I think his online presence certainly does validate his character. Whether he’s giving a hilarious account of what his songs are about on his Instagram stories, or on the radio trying to get a sheep named after himself for Radio 1's Big Weekend (it's ‘Yewis Capaldi’ by the way), this is a guy we’ve all grown to love. The raw emotion on the album is only further legitimised by the fact we’ve had a glimpse into his actual personality.

When this impression of him is carried into listening to his music, it’s difficult to comprehend that the same person who was just dancing about in THAT tracksuit is now singing so beautifully, but it makes the emotion more real I think. I know I don’t know the guy and I never will, but I still feel like I know his character better than I do other ‘pop stars’. This isn’t some random guy singing a sad song for his own success, this is a relatively normal bloke singing about a very relatable heartbreak.

To completely misinterpret the song ‘One’, perhaps what Lewis Capaldi meant by “I guess somebody else's loss is another's gain” was that his loss in love meant a gain for music. I feel bad that I’m even considering his heartbreak a good thing but with an estimated (and disputed) net worth of 10 million, over 16 million monthly Spotify listeners and 2 million Instagram followers, I’m sorry for saying it might’ve worked out alright for Lewis Capaldi.

As for my awful renditions of his songs, for this I can only further apologise. I therefore end this review by sending my sincere apologies to Lewis Capaldi, who’s magnificent music I destroy daily, but more importantly to my flatmates who regularly awake to the beautiful sound of me shrieking ‘Hold me while you wait’ into the shower head.


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