Saturday, September 28, 2013

Album Review: Ayahuasca: Welcome to the Work

Title:  Ayahuasca: Welcome to the Work (Amazon, iTunes, AllMusic, Wikipedia)
Artist:  Ben Lee (Official, Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, AllMusic, Wikipedia)

Singer-songwriter Ben Lee started his musical career in 1992 when he helped form Noise Addict at the age of 14.  Noise Addict lasted until 1995.  That same year Lee released his solo debut, the indie pop / bubble grunge classic Grandpa Would.  In the nearly 20 years that followed, Lee recorded and released eight more full-length records, the latest being the experimental Ayahuasca: Welcome to the Work.  For the majority of his career, Lee has crafted wonderfully fun indie pop songs that should have been huge hits.  Starting with his last album Deeper Into Dream, Lee has moved away from straight forward pop music into the realm of the concept record.  Ayahuasca: Welcome to the Work, a collaboration with Jessica Chapnik Kahn, is a record based on Lee’s and Kahn’s experiences with the South American healing medicine Ayahuasca.  The result is an atmospheric and trippy record that twists and bends what it means to be pop music.  Lee is a masterful songwriter and this record displays his growth as an artist.    

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