Parade of Lights
The Take Off and Landing of Everything
To Alternative Addiction fans there are many credible solo singer/songwriters. But to most people who don’t dig real deep into the independent scene that’s one genre of music that’s pretty bare right now, especially a foreign born singer/songwriter that seems even rarer within the general population (save James Blunt and a few others.) Australian singer/songwriter Ben Lee has been making music for awhile now, but he’s really starting to grow as a musician. In 2004 Lee’s “Awake is the New Sleep” was a decent set that had some moderate success with the single “Catch My Disease” (The Dell Commercial.) The album was an improvement on Lee’s previous work, even his major label stuff, but there was still something to be desired. With “Ripe” Lee creates an album that might be his most complete work to date. Sure it’s a little repetitive like most Lee stuff is, but his songwriting has gotten a lot better after “Awake is the New Sleep.” He takes a few more chances in places lyrically and musically and that is a welcome change. There are a lot of places in the music where Lee takes chances but outnumbering those big risks are some pretty safe and predictable pop songs. Not a bad thing, but a lot of the songs just turn into songs that any singer/songwriter can write. The good news with “Ripe” is it’s the most complete album Lee has done to date. Fans of pop music can listen to this through 2 or 3 times with only a few stale moments. Lee’s Tom Petty like vocals mixed in with some UK pop influenced songwriting make for some interesting points in the music. So while there are flaws with Lee’s work there’s also a lot of good. Lee’s been around for awhile now, and if he keeps making music like this he’ll be around a lot longer.