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Ben Lee: so "Ripe" it hurts.

Heads up promo people: I don't like getting CDs in the mail (though there have been a few exceptions...). But someone somewhere was nice enough to put Ben Lee's newest album in the mail. My first thought: you can't go wrong with with a guy who toured with Ben Kweller (who I have the biggest crush on) and Ben Folds, right?

This statement turns out to be a bit wrong.
I normally don't go out and insult people who send me their music, but I think Ben Lee and his album sales and his handsomely-label-signed face can take it. Now, this is pop, so what's the problem?

Ben Lee, your cliches are killing me.
Take the first track off Ripe, "Love Me Like the World Is Ending."

Problem #1: The title.
Was this written for a "the-world-is-ending-so-let's-have-sex-now" action movie? Because it sounds like song in a bad romantic comedy, to be played during that scene where the lead character is running at his/her love interest having just had some earth-shattering realization. It's raining, Hugh Grant / Meg Ryan's (why have these two never been in a movie together?) hair is flying all over the place, etc. etc. etc.

Problem #2: The lyrics.
"This is the first day of the future" or "This is the last day of existence"? When did you become "welcome to existence" Switchfoot?
I hear the line "I wear a pair of socks you left here." and I think, okay, this could be cute... but then it's followed by, "But i know, i know, i know, nobody could ever fill your shoes." And then, the god-awful please-send-me-to-hell-now chorus which couldn't spare the word "baby" for someone else's beaten ears. It just had to tack it on.

Let me just say, in pop terms, "Love Me Like the World is Ending" actually sort of works...relative to other tracks on the album. It sounds earnest, though I secretly hope for the sake of future albums that Ben Lee is cringing while he's singing that song.
...and "Sex Without Love" and "Birds and Bees" are much, much worse.

"Numb" is by far the best track on the album, and is ...kind of nice. (Like your next door neighbor's daughter who always waves and smiles, but then she pops her collar and the next thing you know you're imagining your hands around her throat. Never mind.). However, by the time you tragically arrive at #6 and Ben Lee sings "I refuse to go numb," I'm starting to think there's some big painful cosmic joke that I'm not in on. Irony is death.

Ben Lee - Numb
Ben Lee - Love Me Like the World Is Ending
don't Buy Ripe at
Ben Lee's Website/Myspace

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3 Responses to “Ben Lee: so "Ripe" it hurts.”

  1. # Blogger Momma's fool

    "It's the last day of the world the last day of history..."

    and that's how you want to be remembered...  

  2. # Anonymous Dusk 2 Dawn

    Im not a big Ben lee fan, but maybe you should just step back and think, its JUST music, maybe it wasnt MEANT to be analysed...  

  3. # Anonymous fimolas

    God, what the hell...
    you must have had a really bad day when you were listening to this album. I think it totally rocks, I like the soft poppy sound of Ben Lee and I totally like the lyrics. Anyone who's ever been in love, who's in love right now or who's been turned down hundreds of times has to agree with what Ben Lee i s saying here.

    It's music that gets stuck in your head and will accompany you all day long.
    Totally in a league with Ben Folds, just as poppy, just as deep.  

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