If you’re looking for music that’s different, not in the least bit generic and enforces you to listen to the words and think, then Ben Fields is the artist for you. His debut album, Extraordinary Light, features acclaimed songwriters and producers bringing forth a mixture of sound that stems from bluesy melodies to soulful renditions. You can’t help flash back to the musical styling of The Beatles among other musicians of the 60s, due to the old school rock, folk aspect of each track. But these songs are definitely unique in Ben’s own way and after listening to his album I can only expect bigger and greater things from here on.
The album opener and title track immediately draws you in and you get a sense of what his music is about, and what makes him standout from the common themes of mainstream music these days. Nothing is rushed about his sound. There’s a speck of calm and delight. I want to listen. I want to drown myself in his sound and understand what’s going on. While the record starts out slow, the tempo picks up in the second track, Matilda. In this particular track, you hear the scores of a classic rock guitar and the song takes you on a groovy jive you can’t resist. The hook is catchy, the lyrics are substantial. I truly enjoy the harmonies of the choir during the chorus and bridge. Their vocal arrangement emphasizes the meaning of the song and in my opinion, make it more impactful.
Swede brings it back down to a mellow and soulful vibe. This is one of my favorites on the album. I like how on his side, Ben is screaming nothing but love, yet it seems his girl is unappreciative of how much he cares for her. It’s almost sad listening to it because of the emotion he projects from start to finish. Yet there are times while listening to it, I can’t help but laugh because of the things he says she does. In the end, it’s a fierce song, that even though is a mid-tempo, the energy is off the wall. You’ll feel as if your heart is plunging with the melodies.
Ben keeps it vulnerable with Fragile Little Heart, in what sounds to me like this woman has him wrapped around her fingers. I’m taken back to a blues club in Georgia, where the music and words tugs at my heartstrings and keeps a hold until the song ends. But even then, I’m still thinking about his emotions going into the next track. And boy it’s a good transition. Worry
Mostly, He Says is indescribably great. Everything speaks to my soul. Both songs give me this prickly sensation on my skin and makes my chest feel heavy. It was hard listening to them and keeping focus on writing my review without feeling emotional. I feel that these two in particular move my heart so much more than the previous, and that doesn’t mean the first tracks weren’t as heartwrenching, I just connected more with the lines “Don’t it fill you up, make you wish you had a bigger cup…” and “Wish I’d done better by your love…”
This is how I feel after listening to these beautiful songs:
After taking a moment to collect myself, I sprang into the album and got swept up with See You In The Morning, Caroline. Loved the accompanying backing vocals of the female singer. Her harmonies are haunting. I like how even though her segments create a dreamlike state, the track is upbeat and pulls out of the slow sessions. It’s rather beautiful and goes by quickly, leaving a sweet impact behind.
Sleep Through December continues the upbeat tempo. I like the musical arrangement on this track, and overall, the words are thought-provoking and relatable. Because how many of us which we could sleep through the December, wake up in January and hope things will go back to being better? I know I do sometimes.
The album wraps on the slow number, So Stolen By Your Ghost. It talks about having the opportunity to go back and fix whatever caused something great to end. The words depict a relationship gone cold. It’s of loss, and I feel the words deep in my heart. The realness of the song lies in Ben’s clear and emotional singing. Indeed, he portrays a heartbreak like no other. It pushes me back to the place where I just want to weep. The song is bittersweet, yet it’s beautiful and memorable. A terrific finisher to a near perfect debut album. Great work Ben. I applaud you and the team behind this superb production.
Release date: June 17th 2014
01. Extraordinary Light
04. Fragile Little Heart
06. Mostly, He Says
08. See You In The Morning, Caroline
09. Sleep Through December
10. So Stolen By Your Ghost
This review does not reflect the opinion of EY on a whole. It represents the opinion of the writer only.
Credit: iambenfields.com + ben fields facebook + Warner Music Group