Ben Stewart is a musician from Portland, Oregon. Like many others he got busy with work and family/kids and stopped making music. For whatever reason he started writing music again ten years later and released them on Evergreen. It’s an assortment of different styles and certainly had my favorites amongst the bunch.
He opens up with “Electric Blue” which is an odd choice for an opener because there isn’t a whole lot else on the album that sounds like it. The song starts up sounding liked jacked up elevator music mixed with rock. It’s get catchier with more listens. I have no idea what the song was about but enjoyed the unique lyrics. He sings, “Dinosaurs dance in the sunshine air / Earthquakes shake like they just don’t care / The sun will rise inside your heart / And everything gets blown apart.”
Next up is “Rain or Shine” which has a distinct island, happy-go-lucky vibe. Not a bad song but at this point I wasn’t sure what direction he was going. “Skyscraper Spectacle” was mastered by Abbey Road Studios which caused a slight issue. Everything else was mastered by Sage Audio. The song is noticeably softer. With that this is one of Stewart's best songs. It’s Beatles-esque and heartfelt. His vocal performance is also top notch.
“Rebellion (Mama Mama)” is upbeat rock/pop while “Straight From The Heart Of The Center Of The Universe” follows a similar tone and delivery. Both songs are simple and easy to enjoy. He revisits the strumming style of “Rain or Shine” on the “The Source (Monterey Stylee).” “Outlaw Blues #3” come out of nowhere with a country, bluegrass style. He closes with a highlight entitled “Desire Mind.” Out of all the different styles I preferred the more mellow, nostalgic songs like “Desire Mind” and “Skyscraper Spectacle.”
Stewart has recently released an EP entitled Big Sur and a single called “Interstellar Love.” Two of the three stripped back songs are solid. As far as “Interstellar Love” goes, I’ll just say he should stay away from the hip-hop genre entirely.
For being away from music for so long Evergreen has some inspired moments. Not all of it works together but overall it is an enjoyable LP.
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