Ben Lee

Ben Lee

Ben Lee


New West Records; September 2007

I drink black coffee, I take my shots without a chaser, and I like my music brooding. You can imagine my reaction, then, as I listened to the latest release from singer/songwriter Ben Lee. This saccharine-sweet album has been heavily promoted for months, and the record lives up to its marketing budget, peppered with hook-laden choruses, cameos, and arrangements just odd and stylistically allusive enough (Lee channels Phil Spector and Andrew Gold) to give the album some credit. Still, for all that it features instrumentally, the potency the album promises is left underdeveloped. The characters in Lee’s lyrically puerile “Birds and Bees” are more naive and idealistic than honest and in love. Lee pairs compositional skill with the illusion of substantive writing on the tongue-in-cheek “American Television.” But if he meant to satirize, he missed the markproving the idea that stands behind this album to be, ironically, ripe. (For more on Ben Lee, click here.)

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:
This Week's Issue

Woman Killed by Train in Montecito

She was struck Friday morning near Olive Mill Road.

La Cumbre Sears Set for Closure

Liquidation sale begins this week.

City Council Approves Fee Allocation for Branch Libraries

The topic goes next to branch library cities.

Truck Accident Disrupts Foodbank Turkey Drive

Nonprofit is trying to replace $145,000 in equipment and food lost in accident last month.

County Eyeing Private Montecito Land to Build New Debris Basin

Supervisors have started the negotiation process with Randall Road parcel owners.