Release Date: Apr 28, 2009
Record label: New West
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
BEN LEE Indie-pop darling nosedives into deep-end issues on seventh albumAussie crooner Ben Lee has been steadily releasing sticky-sweet indie pop since age 14. Now 30, the singer/songwriter is all grown up. His marriage to actress Ione Skye gained him a stepdaughter and brand new band member (the child plays pots and pans on the opener, the album’s best track), and his new family’s presence is resoundingly felt.
I remember in my first year of university, I went to a Ben Lee concert held at the uni bar. Having seen Lee perform previously, I knew his live performances could be a little patchy or too quirky but the singer seemed to be in good spirits, as did the crowd. But what was so memorable about that night was when Lee came back on stage for encore and sang “We’re All In This Together” and gradually the whole room broke into this joyful sing-along, everyone chanting the title line over and over in growing, swelling voices.
Some gestures are just inherently icky no matter how well intentioned they are. For example, take Ben Lee's salute to femininity, The Rebirth of Venus. There's no doubt that Lee means well, that he intends his collection of sunny pop and singsong folk to bridge the chasm between genders and cultures across the world, that he truly does wonder "What's So Bad (About Feeling Good)?," as he does on the song that sets the tone for The Rebirth of Venus.