Mourn is an apt title for the debut Corbin album. The artist, formerly known as Spooky Black, is a master of emotion. Early tracks such as ‘Without U’ and ‘Worn’ carry a heavy load. On the latter we hear a tormented soul explode in rage while on ‘Without U’ we hear an almost sympathetic tone, a sadness that has become so natural that it is now at peace with its owner.
‘Ice Boy’ opens with an overall sound unaccustomed to the traditional Corbin MO. 80’s nostalgia is rife as a voice drenched in desperation speaks of being “left to die” if he is damned to isolation. A poisonous romance unravels. There’s something sadly beautiful in the naive lyricism. Corbin conjures up images of a doomed infatuation; speeding towards a world where you may only rely on the one you love.
“Call me out it’s all I ask, put me on trial for all that I have, break my pride”, begins title track ‘Mourn’. A numbness takes hold. The vocals are aching with heartbreak and abuse, yet Corbin maintains an unmoving aesthetic. Damage limitation has been reached and from the ashes of a hurt child comes a wiser, but no less emotional man.
As we move through ‘Giving Up’ it becomes clear that this is a much rawer form of the artist we’ve known before. Vocals are left unperfected, striving for enhanced emotionality. At one point Corbin seems to break down completely as an alt-rock tempo changes the mood of the room from isolated sadness to desperate anger.
‘No Title’s’ production is crafted beautifully from Shlohmo and D33J. The up-tempo, contemporary jazz element matches Corbin’s lazy flow perfectly and adds another artistic twist to a developing body of work. Producers, Shlohmo and D33J, must be credited with having a huge impact on this record. A distinctive melancholy exists throughout every track even as the mood shifts from the restlessness of ‘Revenge Song’ to the melodic experimentation of ‘Hunker Down’.
There really isn’t a bad song on Mourn. It’s a fantastic debut from one of the most intriguing artists in music. Mourn symbolises a more mature artist. It’s a purposeful attempt. Whereas Corbin’s earlier work seemed to float carelessly and desperately through the infinite abyss, the new has created a home within it, comforted by an unshakable sadness and an addiction to toxic romance.