The artist known as Benjamin has been involved with music from a very young age and I am willing to bet that it’s going to be a constant for the rest of his life. He started playing piano at the age of seven and when he got to be eleven picked up the guitar. In high school he took first place in a couple of battle of the band competitions, got his song spun on local radio and more. The reality is he has all the time in the world to do what he wants with his music as he just graduated high school. (I don’t think I wrote a decent song till I was about twenty-six years old).
The Guardian Angel EP is his first release and overall is pretty strong. There are some styles and moods he attempted that I felt he pulled off better than others but for the most part he creates a solid foundation he can build off in the future. At the center of these songs whether it’s a melancholy mood or it features his own style of rapping is a piano. Besides his voice this is the element that will attract your attention.
He starts off with the most commercially viable song of the six entitled “Colorful Scars.” It’s upbeat, revolves a 4/4 time signature and adequately displays his vocals. He sounds unapologetically young but it works to his advantage. It’s a really catchy song and I’m sure even the most jaded of hipsters will find the song infectious.
“Run Sister” kind of threw me off as he implements rapping into the songs. It’s kind of uniquely his own and he doesn't do it the whole time. I have ambivalent feelings about his rapping skills and I am still not completely sure how I feel about it. The chorus is extremely catchy and is also the hook.
I would say the third track “Guardian Angel” was the highlight of the EP for me. It’s unequivocally the most heartfelt and melancholy track. The juxtaposition between his young, innocent sounding voice and the melancholy on the instrumentation works on multiple levels. Towards the end of the song drums pounce and he adds vocal harmonies, which sounds angelic.
There were some missteps on the EP but the good outweighs the bad by more than a little. He does pop really well and could probably get away with doing anthemic songs but I think his biggest strengths might lie in heartfelt songs with a bit of sadness attached. Food for thought. Either way this is a good EP and I recommend you check it out.
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