What can I say about Ben Williams??? I think of him as the Richie Sambora to Kristyna Myles playing the role of Jon Bon Jovi. He is usually found playing a guitar and tambourine/stompbox combination as acoustic backing for Kristyna Myles at her gigs (he plays guitars when she is with her full band). This is his debut solo album.
Ben previously released an EP called "Balloon String" which contains different versions of some of the songs on this album.
This album is called "Who Do You Think You Are?"
The first track is a slight reworking of "To My Delight" from the EP. This version sounds like a slightly more upbeat version of the original with added drums. The lyrics sound like they have been written by a man who doesn't quite know how he go into a relationship but he knows he wants to stay in it.
Next up we have "Bide Your Time". A vaguely exasperated-sounding Ben trying to convince someone to stop their argument. This track has got a 1970's/early 1980's vibe to it - both with the music and the way he mixes speaking with singing.
The best way of describing "The Fall Out" is it sounds like Madness decided to cover "Ghost Town" by The Specials. As in - it shouldn't work but somehow the combination of the music and the lyrics combine to make a really nice song.
"I Can Do That" has a soulful jazz-like sound to it which complements both the way Ben sings it and the lyrics themselves.
Take your partners for the Hoedown that is "Who Do You Think You Are?". I have to admit that I prefer the version of this I heard on the "Balloon String" EP - the slower tune of the original matched the lyrics a little more. The Country and Western style tune and singing of this version sounds a little rushed (poor Ben almost sounds like he is going to run out of breath at the end of the song).
Next Ben slows the pace right down and decides to find a white towel which he can wave as a flag of surrender before he throws the towel in and walks away. The appropriately named "Hold Your Fire" is a proper, lighter-waving ballad.
Back to the Country and Western vibe - this time with more of a Line Dancing feel - for "Did I? Didn't I?". The slower tune compared to "Who Do You Think You Are?" is easy listening at it's best.
We are now in the region of the 1960's with "Change It". The simplicity of the lyrics are complemented by the danceable tune. (This song has made me move as I type this review. It is also a possible earworm song.)
Now we have my favourite song! "Balloon String" is a mish mash of lyrics which should not make sense in the order that he sings them in. (The ones about "Selling my body parts on Ebay" are the best ones on the entire EP - or maybe that is just my weird sense of humour.)
I am "Trying So Hard" to work out which song and group this next track reminds me of. Ben sings most of this in a lower key and voice than the rest of the songs on this album. This has the effect of turning it into the most relaxing song on the album - almost to the point where it could be used as a meditation exercise or a hypnosis backing track. I like it.
If I had my way I would do two things with "Jukebox Secret" - First thing is make it the opening track of the album (it is pure Ben) and second thing is release it as a single. It is singable and very listenable.
All in all this is a very good album with a nice mix of musical styles. It is available on Amazon and iTunes.
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