Ben Lee: The Rebirth of Venus
Indie-pop darling nosedives into deep-end issues on seventh album
Aussie crooner Ben Lee has been steadily releasing sticky-sweet indie pop since age 14. Now 30, the singer/songwriter is all grown up. His marriage to actress Ione Skye gained him a stepdaughter and brand new band member (the child plays pots and pans on the opener, the album’s best track), and his new family’s presence is resoundingly felt. While Lee has tiptoed onto the verge of message music before, fatherhood has clearly awakened his outlook on life as he steers away from heartbreak tunes, instead concentrating on our problem-fraught world (“Wake Up to America,” “I Love Pop Music”) and his feminine side (“I’m a Woman Too,” “Boy with a Barbie”). While Lee’s preachy lyrics often feel forced and rarely reach beneath the surface of the issues, the man known for homespun sing-alongs retains his catchy strumming and perfect blend of sweet and funny musings, making it difficult not to root for him.
Listen to tracks from Ben Lee's The Rebirth of Venus on his MySpace page.