Johnny Bennett â€“ Red Light Room / 2007 Self / 5 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/johnnybennett /
The first track on â€œRed Light Roomâ€ is â€œChance Meetingâ€, which starts out in an interesting way. This is due to the fact that Bennettâ€™s vocals start out in a speaking role. It is only when the instrumentation kicks in that Bennett starts to craft eir own style of music. Bennettâ€™s unique style links together Elvis Costello vocals with a somewhat quieter interpretation of emo rock. Throw a Warren Zevon type of piano to the mix, and what results during the early parts of â€œRed Light Roomâ€ is something that is eclectic, to the say least. It feels that Bennettâ€™s introduction to â€œRed Light Roomâ€ is something close to a single, but that Bennett will need to step up eir game in the tracks to come.
The title track suffers with the nasal vocals of Bennettâ€™s; the stuttering, somewhat timid approach to music during this track provides listeners with another weak effort. There is talent in both Bennettâ€™s vocals and the instrumentation that backs up these vocals. It feels that Bennett needs to go back to the drawing board and craft songs that naturally progress and are led by a set of vocals that are more confident. If Bennett can do that, chances will be good that Bennett will start to gain popular recognition. If this does not happen, I can see Bennett being yet another musician that fades into obscurity. Each of the five tracks on â€œRed Light Roomâ€ pass some general level of palatability, but there is little beyond that that Bennett provides that individuals can truly get behind. Keep listening to Bennett and perhaps subsequent discs will be stronger. This time out, Bennett has crafted an EP people can avoid.
Top Track: This Yearâ€™s Lie