Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Sep 11th, 2015

Ben Lorentzen: America

americaBen Lorentzen
(Nordic Records)

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From Norway to New York, Ben Lorentzen’s journey has landed the musician/singer/artist in America. “This Is My American Revolution” begins the album with a plucky, tentative noodling acoustic guitar flowing into a percussion bed with slicing, jangly chords and swirling atmosphere under Lorentzen’s whispery vocals. “The Ugliest Girl in the World” follows, informed by piano, single-note leading, and wry lyrics. Though I’m not sure the song ever really lifts off, it’s certainly not “ugly.” There’s a slight swing to the moody “Bring Home the Angels,” a solid moment for Lorentzen to show off the sexy side of his voice with a subtle groove and quite an infectious chorus. The production layering of guitar/piano/vocals is perfect here as throughout America. (Lorentzen is responsible for guitars, bass, piano, banjo, organs, and synths on this album.) “Masters of War” is a walking, low acoustic roil, a plucky little number with a banjo backing, and though mining a slightly banal lyric, it still manages quite the groove. “Iron Bells” is a singer/songwriter ditty, almost Tim Buckley-ish in its slow, sweet reveal, countered by the organ duet with Lorentzen’s vocals on “Wasteland” (“Acoustic Pop Noir” is what Lorentzen calls his music and that label fits this song well). America ends with another song built mainly around atmosphere, some perfectly placed harmony vocals and Lorentzen’s strong, studied yet subtle lead vocals, “Jesus, John and I” with an ever-so-light piano background. It is quite the way to go out here, setting an almost angelic vibe to all the noir.

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Ben Lorentzen: America