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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

BenLaVain's Come On People



Another old post from Blogcritics:

BenLaVain’s album Come On People is a look through the eyes of the displaced ex-patriot. The “brainchild” of producer/composer Oren Barzilay, BenLaVain’s music is influenced by rap lyrics, rock guitar and punk attitude. Barzilay, an Israel-to-New-York transplant, got two other New York-Israelis (Avital Uri and Keren Bar-Nir) and together to create the group. Now on tour, the trio have been making people notice.

Their album is a nice combination of anxious punk-ness and Americana pop. They are going through culture shock, yet seem too jaded to really be affected by their “new” surroundings. Their songs show influences from various musical genres and styles: 1950’s sing-song pop (as on the track “Jubilee”) to Queens of the Stone Age’s style of drawing out lyrics to almost a whine (as on “It’s Been Too Long”). There is even something reminiscent to the California band Everclear (the song “Big Apple Sun” especially).

While their songs show signs of influence from these other styles of rock, the group does have a style all their own. While their own style is not half bad, they still have a long way to go. Barzilay’s lyrics, while being the sincere words of a man feeling displaced in his own surroundings, at times, sound too much like the whiney scribblings of an angst-ridden teen. Musically, their style becomes a little repetitive (in the same way many other punk/hard rock groups become repetitive)…after a while all the songs sound the same.

Still this debut is not a bad one. BenLaVain has promise. And in the end, tf they don’t get national or international, they can always become and remain highly popular in the ever-fussy New York hipster scene (because really, isn’t that was truly matters?)

You can find this cd at CDBaby or at BenLaVain's MySpace page

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