Ben Wilkins “All From Hello”
Canadian singer Wilkins melodic gift on his debut was certainly stunning, but his newest LP leans more on classical pop than anything else. Fans of George Michael will still find comparisons here on several glossy studio tracks like the opener “Breakfast at the Figaro.” But tracks like the “Doldrums” take too long to get to Wilkins strong tenor, and “That’s When I Know” is just too low key, like Stevie Wonder wannabe lite.
Some subtle goodies are buried here, like the whimsical “Make It Home Now” with its sparse carnival atmosphere and soaring ballad “Weathering Lines.” Fans of light lounge pop will find plenty to enjoy here, otherwise you may want to try something with more “punch.”
Gentlemen Rogues “A History So Repeating” EP
Punk pop band Gentlemen Rogues follows up 2013’s debut with more bright upbeat riffs and angst filled lyric (“I guess what doesn’t kill us takes more time”) on the opener “Your Armageddon.”
Sometimes the Green Day styled layering of drums, guitars and vocal is enough on the frantic “Thin As Thieves” and standout “Mocking Love Out Of Nothing At All.” Next, a creative cover of Erasure’s “A Little Respect,” won my respect. It showcases the band trying to stretch things and even though this didn’t make me forget the original, the raw melodic power of the tune kept me at attention and it should get your attention too.