It took a long time to sit down and try to relay the information
from this record. In that time I have absorbed the tracks that
took Mr. Benway three years to compile. I've experienced
the album enough that it's like introducing you to an old friend
of mine. Unlike so many releases that never question their own
importance, Room Temperature justifies its existence with
self-effacing humor, unabashed innocence and beauty unfettered
by slick industry parameters.
From the Indie Arena Rock of "Slippery Papers" and
"Rock Religion/Opossum Town" to the neo-renaissance
of "Thank God For The Mentally Ill," Benway knocks over
the pigeon coop to bring you what he wants at the time. The Jim
Croce sound on "In The Car" is joined by a dearth
of folky numbers whose every hesitation is magnified by pretty
finger-picking. The lo-fi element is celebrated, yea, even elevated
to honor the godfather of indie, Neil Young. Naive piano
on "The Whole World Is Laughing At You" is a departure
from the hideous perfection perpetrated in today's music. D. could
have programmed slick runs, but caught a rarer bird. The delivery
is endearing like the ability of a brother to do no wrong. "Lotto"
possesses a rhythm reminiscent of Cornershop's "Brim
Full Of Asha." as comfortable as curling up with the wife.
Otherwheres, a warmer version of Jim Carroll warns "Something
Just Ain't Right."
The singer on "Where's The Money Gone" is drowning
in Lesley amperage. Meanwhile the gentle music carries on, oblivious
above the waves. "Killing The Metaphors" takes the barbs
of a denigrating father, and throws them back in self-proving
defiance. Joy Division's "Deadline" is barely
recognizable unplugged. For "Gonna Have Fun" Benway
leaves the living room for the gritty garage. Dreamy sixties "Windmills
Of Your Mind" stuff leads to folk ballads and leads me back
to this disc. The CD that looks like a vinyl LP is pretty cool,
Where many artists have given their listeners the role of confessor/therapist,
Benway has plenty to offer to the benefit of the audience. Sure
he's quirky...quirky like a fox.
1. Slippery Papers
2. Killing The Metaphor Whores
5. The Whole World Is Laughing At You Not With You
6. In The Car
7. Rock Religion/ Opossum Town
8. Gonna Have Fun
9. Thank God For The Mentally Ill
10. This Time Around
11. Toy Guitars
12. Remember 79'
14. Something Just Ain't Right
15. Where's All The Money Gone
16. Floating In Space
17. Happy Little Accident
18. It's Your Life
19. Mystery Ship
20. Once In Awhile
21. Not Afraid
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