[1 January 2007]
Benjy Ferree has a style so fun that you can help but crack a grin. It’s terribly fabulous, criminally infectious, and so frickin’ simple that it’s ridiculously refreshing! The sweet, jangle-tinged “In the Countryside” ambles along and begs repeating all day long. Ferree also ups the ante with the rowdier, raunchier and ballsy “Dog Killers!”, which sounds like a cross between the Strokes and the White Stripes. But the ebb and flow throughout the record is impressive, particularly when Ferree slows things down for the gorgeous “Little at a Time” and the winding, mid-tempo folksy “The Desert”, which sounds like a combination of Devendra Banhart and Danny Michel. Just as stellar is the soulful, mournful “Private Honeymoon” and the rambling, Dylan-meets-the Raconteurs “Hollywood Sign”. The album is very charming as well, with Ferree wearing his heart on his sleeves and in his lyrics during “Why Bother” and the homemade-sounding “In the Woods”. Worthy of year-end lists everywhere!