Ben DeLaurentis has a LIAR FOR A MUSE

Singer-songwriter Ben DeLaurentis is on tour right now, unfortunately he’s not coming through Philly this go ’round… but that didn’t stop me from diving into his latest album when it crossed my desk. While my rock tastes veer towards harder edged sounds, rather than the acoustic folk style that DeLaurentis exhibits, I found myself enjoying this Lynchburg, VA native’s new album quite a bit. Entitled Liar for a Muse, the new album is a nice breath of fresh air at the end of a long day of work and/or parenting. As I’ve been wont to do with my listening of this album, I recommend that before you read on and press play on the clips included in this review, you pour yourself a nice pint of beer or glass of wine and get comfy.

Ready? Ok, take a sip and away we go.

From the opening track, Liar for a Muse is clear in what it’s setting out to do – which is to say that Ben DeLaurentis has compiled a collection of solid acoustic driven folk rock/pop tunes with that Americana tinge. He’s got his own voice and a sound that seems to borrow from a variety of influences, yet still feels all its own. Admittedly, his subgenre of music isn’t something I’m always drawn to, nor is it an area I can claim an expert level experience with. However, as far as well written indie pop and rock songs, this album features 10 such tunes.

While DeLaurentis has a vocal style much different than the lead singer of Thrice, I immediately found myself comparing his stripped down acoustic sound to the solo work of Dustin Kensrue. He’s been drawing comparisons to artists like Ed Sheeran and Jason Isbell, but I must admit that I’m not the most familiar with those gentlemen nor other pop music of this ilk. Instead, from the first track on, I keep coming back to Kensrue, as well as indie artists Kevin Devine and the solo work of former Get Up Kid’s frontman Matt Pryor.

In other words, none of my punk rock roots, hardcore leanings, or alternative rock bents prevent me from truly enjoying this album of indie rock by way of country flavored acoustic hooks with blues and jazz infusions. There’s great depth and soul here. And, what more can you ask for in this type of music?

The title track is among my faves. The guitar work and vocals really stand out on this one. Something about this one harkens back to the Rocky Votolato album I listened to a ton in college, as well as a few local Philly guys I used to spend my evenings watching live in those days. Among these artists The Great Northern (whose beloved Dan Krawiec sadly passed in 2012), Denison Witmer, and another late great artist Damien “Peasant” DeRose (who passed in 2015). Something about the sound on this latest album from DeLaurentis reminds me of this type of laid back acoustic indie rock sound… which of course isn’t a bad thing.

I can trul say that almost all of the tracks are also fantastic, with one of my other favorites being “Should Be Easy” (video below). This one has a definite jazz feel to it, particularly in the drum beats. It’s a toe tapper that lets you feel upbeat while still relaxing (with that drink in hand, for those playing along at home). Along with the closing track, “Half Hearted Love”, I think I’ve found myself listening most to this one.

The long and the short of it, when it comes to this album, is that fans of artists mentioned up top like Sheeran and Isbell will probably love it… but those of us who, like me, can’t sing a single song from either or these guys or many others associated with them can also find a lot here to enjoy. For me, this isn’t an upbeat driving album or a hard rocking yardwork album, but instead a relaxing with my beer in the bath or on my favorite chair type album. In the long run, I’d be surprised if a few of these tracks weren’t still on my frequently played playlists years down the road. I’m a fan and you very likely could be too.

Check out more from Ben DeLaurentis at bendelaurentis.com, and don’t forget to look for his albums on your favorite listening services and retailers.

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