Ben Jelen - Give It All Away
I don't know about you, but I judge music on how it makes me feel. Some music gives you energy and just makes you feel good. Deee-lite and The B-52's are good examples of this.
Some music makes you sad or melancholy, like Morrissey or early Suzanne Vega. Not a bad thing if you feel like wallowing in self-pity, as we all need to do now and then.
Some music is for when you're angry and hating the entire world. I break out the Alanis Morrissette and Nine Inch Nails whenever I feel like screaming. I just wail along with thge music instead. It's theraputic.
Music is the soundtrack of my life. There's never a time when I don't have something playing on the stereo.
Which brings me to my review of the Ben Jelen CD.
When my buddy Fireguy first turned me on to Ben Jelen he was like, "You have to see this guy - he is soooo sexy!"
I saw the photos, and, yep, he's sexy all right.
But can he sing? Is his music any good? Is he more than just a pretty face?
The answer to those questions is an unqualified yes.
Very much so.
After I heard the single "Come On" I was totally hooked. I had to have more.
I'm a lyrical person. Instrumentals never did anything for me, but the right lyrics can make a song my absolute favorite.
"Come on / Without you, I'll never feel the love inside of me" he sings -- and you feel it. You feel the longing and wanting.
It's the same thing with the second track, "Rocks".
"Cause it was love, wasn't it? / Well, it's killing me not havin' it"
Again, you feel it. He makes you feel it.
And it's the same with every track on this album.
My personal favorite it the fifth track, "Every Step". Not only does it have a fancy uptempo melody, but it contains the whispery delivered lyric "I've tangled with your lips" which makes me think of making out.
Defini’ly erotic -- to me anyway.
Someone asked me if I "review" every CD I buy, and the answer to that is a definite "no". I thought the Clay Aiken CD "Measure of a Man" was mediocre at best. I think I've listened to it maybe twice since I bought it. Was it worth a review? No way. It was barely worth the price I paid for it, and I got it on sale.
Ben Jelen is definitely talented vocally. I challenge anyone to listen to the CD and try and tell me otherwise. And unlike Clay Aiken, who I mentioned above, Ben wrote or co-wrote every song on the album except one.
If you want music that moves you, "Give It All Away" is definitely for you. I know I'll probably wear out my copy from continuous playing.
Bonus goodies: Stick the CD in your computer and you can view the music video of "Come on", live performances of "Come On" and "Give It All Away", an in-depth interview with Ben Jelen, and a photo gallery.