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D. Benway
Songs At Room Temperature
Afflicted Records
www.dbenway.com


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, too.

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.

-Ewan Wadharmi

Track Listing:

1. Slippery Papers
2. Killing The Metaphor Whores
3. Deadline
4. Lotto
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'
13. Melody
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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