SOUNDING OFF ON SOUND | Benjamin Raye charges on


Hard-charging, soft rocking popmeister Benjamin Raye ( leads off his album, Come And Get It (Tate Music Group) with a truly interesting cut, the title tune. Raye does what only dyed-in-the-wool winners can do. Takes a tired, routine arrangement that bands have been working with for ages and gives it a brand new kick straight square in the ass. It’s the old start out bare bones, stark and each time through the progression, add a little more instrumentation. By the time he gets done putting down layers, the song is ready to take off and soar. And, in fact, does exactly that. Airy, spirited it’s an an excellent intro to the album and splendid showcase for the singer-songwriter’s craft. Far from this being one of those cases where you get fooled by the artist starting with a lucky fluke and then lapsing wack thereafter, the quality of the material and the performances here is thankfully consistent with Raye’s vocal pleasant upbeat voice going very easy on the ears.

Happily there’s a lyric sheet. And decent lyrics to go along with it – nothing profound but not cheesy, either: just nice entertainment with which you follow along with the music. In “Jesse”, as an example, a verse goes:

“He drinks way too much lately
Cries way too much lately and
Ever since his woman let him go
Too many wine bottles
Too many pill bottles
Too many things he just don’t know”

The personnel is top shelf: Benjamin Raye on vocals, guitar and keys, producer Josh Dogan on guitar, bass, drums and assorted other instruments with background vocalist Kristina Hopper. This crew truly came to play and take care of much business.

Music lovers live for an album as solid as Benjamin Raye’s Come And Get It. Indeed, the title is a perfect fit. Come and get just as much it as you can. If he’s this good live, there isn’t a club in the Twin Cities that can contain him. Check his performing schedule. You’ll probably be glad you did.