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Benny Sings - Music Music Album Reviews

Benny Sings - Music Music Album Reviews
The Dutch songwriter follows behind-the-scenes work with Rex Orange County, The Free Nationals, and others with a breezy new solo record. Featuring collaborations with Mac Demarco and Emily King, the album does a good job does distilling his charms into a single package. 

The Dutch songwriter Benny Sings whittles his chipper songs down to their foundations. “I’m not a very adventurous music maker,” he told an interviewer a couple years ago. “If the chords work,” he added, “what do you need more than just a kick and a bass and a vocal?” Benny, whose real name is Tim van Berkestijn, has made a study and a production line out of that approach. In his hands the album format is pure vessel: Here’s a song. Here’s another one. And then here’s eight more. That’s an album.

Benny’s eighth studio album Music is his second for the Stones Throw label. He’s spent a career simplifying his songs, and his current crossover from Amsterdam onto the American indie pop scene feels as much like a pitch for Benny the songwriter as Benny the performer. Coming after recent behind-the-scenes collaborations with artists like Rex Orange County, PJ Morton, and The Free Nationals, Music prominently features Mac Demarco, Emily King, and Tom Misch on the tracklist. All of Benny’s albums read more like songwriter exercises than grand statements, but Music does a good job distilling his charms into a single package.

Music gravitates towards blue-eyed soul and yacht rock, and if you’ve heard anything about Benny Sings before it’s probably that he makes happy, breezy music. Taken at face value, that sunshine-on-your-face vibe belies the sturdiness of Benny’s songs. The boxy simplicity of the production hints at his affinity for hip-hop beats, and most of his songs chunk cleanly into verse-chorus-verse formations. “Here It Comes” and “Sunny Afternoon” are both slinky pop-soul numbers with a boom-bap framework, and Benny’s voice has a sweet, barely-there quality.

Lyrically, the songs on Music can trend a bit too safe, which often works in Benny’s favor but sometimes makes a track feel generic. Benny has a knack for writing an opening line that sets a song immediately into motion: “There you are, right out of bed” he sings on “Rolled Out,” like he was nudging the track awake. But since so many of Benny’s songs are about love, sometimes the innocuousness of his lyrics can make a refrain sound obvious or preprogrammed, like it was a placeholder that made its way into the final draft. Some songs come off quaint, even twee as a result. “Lost Again” would be a saccharine even as an instrumental, and so a handclap-punctuated line like “I’m lost again/All these different ways to get inside your heart” pushes it over the top. It's hard to imagine this wasn’t a nebulous soundtrack assignment from a Disney executive to write a post-credits anthem.

At its best, Music brings other artists full of their own personality into the fold and highlights Benny’s songwriting. The slouchy guitar groove of “Rolled Up” sounds like it came fully formed from a Mac Demarco album, until Benny’s voice comes in and it feels at home here. They sing in entirely different registers, but both Mac and Benny wistfully sigh their lyrics, and Benny settles easily into Demarco’s slacker-cool vibe. The spunky,Emily King-featuring “Miracles,” meanwhile, is a gospel-tinged love song railing against the concept of one true love. “I don’t believe in miracles...but I believe you’re beautiful, let us just start there,” he sings. It’s clearly a song meant for and written in the image of King though, who brings it home with her breathy weightlessness. It’s not the only time a guest brings his ideas all the way to life. Benny’s voice has a gentle purity, but he uses it almost like a scratch track—just enough to get the idea across. There might be some irony baked into his stage name: Benny Writes is truer, but doesn’t have the same ring to it.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Benny Sings - Music Music Album Reviews Benny Sings - Music Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 Rating: 5

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