June 16, 2009

Benjamin Bear


Seattle, WA

Recorded and mixed by Mychal Cohen | Produced

by Benjamin Bear | Unmastered

The relationship between Benjamin Bear’s drummer Stern and pianist/vocalist Cohen creates the atmosphere for the oddly titled Lungs in which song titles seem to inhabit the air like smog floating above a background of uncomplicated music. The voice of the narrator does not always stay on pitch, but that drives the curiosity and desire to interpret the lyrics.

To say this release grabs attention would be untrue. The record sort of pushes the listener away like a whiny girlfriend who demands too much, but if enough attention is paid the vocals mellow out and the lyrics remain to grind against the brain.

At first listen, songs like “Russ” may turn people away, but by the time the mellow “Station Rest Release” starts, a peak hits and listeners will either continue the journey or get off the ride.

Whining vocals turn into a kind of yearning feeling expressed through lines like, “All I wanted was love from you”; a simple, almost trite, supplication that has no choice but to hit home with a wide audience. The prose in the lyrics calls for the most attention if the listener delves deeper into the psyche of the songwriter.

Experience Lungs as an attempt to connect to those communicating with their inner most demons and fears, which may just be universal. The unleashing of air from lungs may connect the passion of a duo dreaming in real time. (self-released)


-Ellen Eldridge


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