Hayden Thorpe - Diviner
Critic Score
Based on 14 reviews
2019 Ratings: #152 / 765
User Score
Based on 105 ratings
2019 Ratings: #254
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The Line of Best Fit
This is, as advertised by the record label, a “very special debut album indeed”. It’s evidently, demonstrably and obviously a flawless work of genius, and may just be one of the best albums this writer has heard this decade.
Loud and Quiet

It is ... sufficient to put to bed any doubts that they might have called it a day because there was no juice left in the tank. Thorpe’s supply, at least, is clearly bountiful.

Wild Beasts sometimes seemed overly enamoured with ideology, self-aware to a fault, while Thorpe’s solo album is simpler, more direct, more self-contained – and therein lies its power.
‘Diviner’ is an intensely intimate album that leaves Hayden with nowhere to hide. Thankfully, stepping fully into the spotlight and laying himself bare, he’s resplendent.
‘Diviner’ is a satisfyingly rounded effort, one thick with faith in the idea of a set path. He’s been brave enough to walk along it this far, and the rewards are proving plentiful.
This is a very carefully thought out new page to Hayden Thorpe’s career, yet the page has freshly written calligraphy on it. There is much to admire and much to relate to, in what is surely just the start of this particular Wild Beast’s solo migration.
Yes it’s a different kind of vocal to what we’ve been used to, but this is a different kind of album. ‘Diviner’ is a brave album and Thorpe should be commended for it. It challenges what masculinity should be and that you don’t have to shout to get your message across.
The 405
On his frequently divine debut album, Hayden Thorpe may well be a new man, untethered from his band, adrift in space and time, yet safe in the hermetic seal of an intricately designed vessel, but the desire for human connection will seemingly always bring him out of his shell and back down to solid ground.

He has spoken of Diviner as “a self-help album,” and to that end, some of its songs are so intimate that their meanings seem all but impossible for an outsider to parse. But in the moments when he decides to push his music out into the light, Thorpe's self-searching takes on a shape we can all recognize.

Sometimes Thorpe’s approach goes close to the blue eyed mellow r n’ b of Rhye, others it ends up delicately piano driven with a Nils Frahm ambience.

Both approaches suit the man’s vocals which are firmly locked in ‘tender’ mode - you’ll find no hooting nor howling here.

The only real weakness is the best tracks are so sublime you may find yourself pining for them during a couple of relative lulls.
Since the death of the "Wild Beasts" the idea of their two lead singers releasing solo material, lingered in mind, and here we have the first of that divine thought.

And of course its, Hayden to release first, his voice so ethereal and covered in emotion but broken away from Fleming's baritone can it ever reach the same level without juxtaposition? The instrumentation birthed among the waters of sleepy piano. Its the kind of backdrop, anyone could have guessed.

But where this ... read more
Very pretty. Very authentic.
I feel as though that most of the songs never reach their full potential. There was that little something that I needed to be there, but it wasn't there.

Favs: Diviner, Love Crimes, In My Name (really started to pick up), Anywhen
“In my butchers hands her soft fruit tendered, she never pretended, she purred while I grrred” came Hayden Thorpe’s salacious croon more than a decade ago on Wild Beasts’ debut. His prurient poetry was very much their molten core – it was hot, it was steamy, and to the discerning nymph quite dreamy – with coy turns of phrase that’d redden cheeks with hot flush and then again with a playful, stinging slap. Limbo, Panto was a rabble-rouser, lighting fires ... read more
Wild Beast's former frontman unleashes his debut in the open with its unobtrusive vulnerability, breathtaking piano flourishes and aching lyricism taking him fully into the spotlight. The familiar signature sound of his band's work echoes throughout the track-list but giving his own refreshing spin that never overstays its welcome. Something bold and beautiful lies within the music here and it's undeniable.
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Track List

  1. Diviner
  2. Straight Lines
  3. Earthly Needs
  4. Love Crimes
  5. Stop Motion
  6. In My Name
  7. Anywhen
  8. Human Knot
  9. Spherical Time
  10. Impossible Object
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Added on: April 9, 2019