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Benmont Tench, or Benjamin Montmorency “Benmont” Tench III, who is best known as the founding keyboardist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, just released a solo album titled You Should Be So Lucky. The album has a great old time-y feel to it. Right away you can tell that it’s an older artist (or at the very least someone who was greatly influenced by older musicians.) There is a sense of old jazz – as a result of the brush sticks being used on the snare drum and an upright bass. The album also has a lovely country feel to it.
However, despite the nice exterior of the album, the majority of the melody lines and the lyrics may force you to mute your computer or iPod simply so you don’t go crazy. The lyrics (within each individual song- not across the entire album) are repetitive over a simplistic melody line. This in turn causes the songs to drill holes through your ears and form roots in your brain so that the monotones of each song become implanted within your subconscious and the only way out is to fast forward if not to turn it off altogether. This can especially be noted on the song “Corrina, Corrina.”
There are two exceptions that prove the rule of how severe this album is. These two specific songs, “Wobbles” and “Ecor Rouge” are quite pleasing to the ear– especially in the context of the rest of the album. They are completely instrumental and focus on that country jazz feeling previously mentioned. What becomes clear through this solo album is that Tench is a great keyboard player and obviously has an understanding of music composition. However, when tasked with music and lyrics, Tench really just falls short. Rather than allowing his greatness to shine, he creates a black hole of music that you unwillingly become sucked into, to the point where the only true escape is the stop button.