Ben Colbourne aka One Boy Riot is just getting his start. He has been writing and performing for about two years. Thats was about my guess when hearing his songwriting. The songs on his self-titled EP are simple in a number of ways. The songs are comprised of major and minor chords a first year music student should know, the melodies are basic and the songs revolve around guitar and vocals.
In all honesty he reminds me of an act you might catch at an open mic. I don’t say that as a good or bad thing but I think that fair to say at this point in his development. The songs run into each other and Colbourne sticks to a fairly consistent strumming style.
He opens with “The Town and the Tiles” which will give you a good idea of his style. He sings “I'll go dancing in the dark in Kerouac's honky-tonk bars Like Dylan Thomas in whiskey rooms I've never viewed this life from afar”. His lyrics are original and unique. I thought it was the strongest aspect to music at this point.
“Passing Daze” opens up with the classic V-III-I riff that's is actually the most used riff in rock. It's the main riff in Stairway to Heaven and countless other classic rock songs. “Blue Youth” is a fun, fast pop song while “Blue's Cure” is a little more emotionally resonant. He closes with “Running Through Honey” which contains spoken word.
As someone he has been performing and releasing music for over twenty five years I promise Colbourne that he is at the embryonic stage of his development. I would recommend getting more proficient at guitar picking and expanding his arsenal of chord changes.
I think he is off to a great start and thought the lyrics and his voice laid a good foundation for his future development.
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