M. Rexen, the man who grew up in the deserts of the Emirates, is back with a new album entitled “Tending to the Vulnerable Things”. This colourful and well-produced LP invites the listener to be enchanted by the sweet tone and tender harmonies. It takes us back to the artist’s roots and his struggles in life, as it serves a lesson about strength and vulnerability. With ten tracks, two interludes and almost 47 minutes of pure intimacy, M. Rexen leads us through a journey of emotions also known as “Tending to the Vulnerable Things”.
The track “Natural Man” opens the record with such authenticity that it feels as if Rexen is sitting with his guitar on a stool right in front of you. The enchanting sound of his delightful yet fragile falsetto gives the listener a reason to stay through the record in its entirety. As the Avant Garde elements of the music start to reveal themselves through the chromatics, the track slowly accelerates into an upbeat tempo as the ‘80s-sounding drum machine gets the groove established. With a more powerful voicing and a great deal of harmonies, “Tending to the Vulnerable Things” is now officially started, and we can sit back and enjoy it.
As the journey takes us further into the album, the stories of the songs keep evolving in their own way, and they never disappoint. Packed with harmonies and instruments, these stories offer a diverse take on topics like joy, will and gratitude, side by side with trauma and shame we all experience in this rollercoaster of life. “Tending to the Vulnerable Things” allows the listener to really feel the immanent emotions and enjoy every detail of music hidden within the tracks.
By the end of the journey, the 12th and last track “Two Birds on a Perch” takes us back to where it all began. Rexen is back on the stool and serenades to us with the simplicity of an acoustic guitar and his mellow voice. So, at the end of “Tending to the Vulnerable Things” we once again sit back and enjoy the last track and think about the sonic diversity of the neofolk-genre this record has given us.
Review by Johan Riis