Ben Lee

Ben Lee, at his best, writes innocent touching songs on his beloved acoustic guitar. At times one of the best examples of simple man-and-guitar songwriting.

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Suggested First Purchase: Something To Remember Me By

Grandpa Would (1995) -- A cute album, pairing Ben Lee's great little acoustic guitar love songs with producer Brad Wood. Sometimes the one-after-another teeny pop song gets tiring, making the album fade into the background. Highlights include "Pop Queen," "Don't Leave," and "Away with the Pixies." B

Something To Remember Me By (1997) -- If it weren't for the naive annoyances on this album (see "Career Choice, "2 Sisters," and especially "Household Name"), this would be an extremely excellent album. As it is, it's simply an excellent album. Superior songs like "New Song," "Grammercy Park Hotel," and "End of the World" (not to mention some of the simply good songs like "How To Survive a Broken Heart") make up for the you-think-you-know-it-all-ness which runs through the record. B

Breathing Tornadoes (1999) -- Trading in his acoustic guitar for synthesizers might have been done with the best intentions (musical growth, whatever), but it didn't work. "Cigarettes Will Kill You" is an excellent opener which works with the new format, but most of them suffer ("Burn To Shine" was a religious experience live, but nothing close on the record). The worst drawback is that many of the songs sound like regular ol' radio crap songs. C

Hey You. Yes You. (2002) -- I can't find any reason to listen to this more than the one time I have so far. I'm not buying any more Ben Lee CDs until I hear them first. Sorry, Ben, I have lost faith in you. D

Awake Is the New Sleep (2005) -- After the letdown of the last two albums, I only got this one when I saw it really cheap at Hudson's.  This really should have been Ben Lee's third album.  He's back with Brad Wood, back on his guitar, away from the crap, writing pretty good songs.  If this had been his third album in 1999, he would be on track, but after the setbacks, this seems more like a backtrack-on-track kind of thing.  Nothing completely spectacular here, but things are shiny and often pretty.  I like it and have (some) faith in Ben again. B

Copyright (c) Jul 2000 - Jul 2005 by Rusty Likes Music