Sound — 9
Ben's Brother could be England's next Morrissey possessing the stature of Death Cab For Cutie, yet resonating of modern English folk rock. The band's latest release Beta Male Fairytales from Virgin Records is filled with acoustic coffeehouse tunes and rock stocked blends liken to the UK's Travis. The instruments mesh into a cohesive unit moving as one along with the vocals. When one makes a shift, the rest follows alongside. The music has an overall low-lit burning sensation that penetrates the listener's membranes easily, and releases shots of warmth into the bloodstream. The songs are meticulously trimmed so the instrument arrangements are evenly keeled. They move as one through the sliding movements and ascensions, so no one instrument stands above the others, and no one feels lost or strays away either. The instruments display a special brotherhood which adds to the music's magnetism, allowing the songs to segue like the steady chapters of a novel enabling the listener to be engulfed deeper into Ben's Brother's folk-tinged musings. The songs are emotively-driven and beautifully polished without losing the rough sketches that laid down the impetus for these songs. Beta Male Fairytales music is attractive for all listeners relating to their lives like a Morrissey song.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrical themes unburden pent up emotions like in Find Me An Angel. Lead vocalist Jamie Hartman pouts, Sitting in my bedroom/ Thinking of a love gone/ Wondering why it went wrong/ Over again/ You didn't really know me/ And it feels like you owe me/ But I guess at least you showed me/ Not to do it again/ 'Coz I've been knocked out/ Found out/ About time that it turned around/ 'Coz I've got to find the one thing that will get me over you/ So one day/ You've gotta find me an angel. You won't be able to take just one quote from a Ben's Brother's song, you'll be singing the entire set of lyrics.
Overall Impression — 9
Every song is good. Not one is better than another, they all have equal potential to penetrate into your system. Lead singer/harmonica player Jamie Hartman, drummer Dave Hattee, keyboardist Kiris Houston, bassist Dan McKinna, and guitarist Tim Vanderkuil made a rock oriented album, so conceivably every track has the potential to become a hit. Produced by Martin Terefe (KT Tunstall, Tristan Prettyman), Beta Male Fairytales is a nice addition to the world marketplace. The band's name was dubbed by Hartman. who was referred to as Ben's Brother when he was growing up because his older brother is named Ben.