EP – Red Light Room – Johnny Bennett

Posted by admin on March 17th, 2008

When I first listened to this EP, there was something about the vocals that stood out, not that they were in any way exceptional, but there was just something about them that I didn’t like. As has often been the case, coming back for a second listen much later, I found a totally different EP. Yes the vocals are distinctive, but it’s the music that really gives a great air to this release.

“Chance Meeting” begins the precedings, and it’s probably this track that could put some off. There’s an almost Verve/Richard Ashcroft feel to the track, which also reminds me of another Indie Launchpad favourite, Chance. It’s a track that I enjoyed first time around, but really came to love, upon revisiting the EP. “Red Light Room”, the title track, goes off in a slightly different direction, with piano accompaniment that really began to drive me crackers. Musically and lyrically the track is great, but the piano is just way too overpowering, whether it’s the mix or not, I don’t know, I just know that it began to resemble small bursts of someone scratching their nails down a chalkboard.

“Exit Sign” is a great track musically, with vocals that are very reminiscent of Bob Dylan. That’s either a good thing, or bad, depending on your Dylan preferences. For me it’s all good. Not too sure I like the sort of jazz, funk guitar work that pops up here and there, as it seems to take the EP off in yet another direction. “Where We Belong” again is a nice track, but the piano seems to be far too prominent. Whether this is because I usually listen using headphones, I don’t know, but their prominence could do with a little crank downwards. “This Year’s Life” completes a bit of a mixed bag, but has a real feeling of letting go, which I really enjoyed.

Conclusion : This EP could have been a real blast, but there’s just a couple of things that at times were like some form of audio Chinese water torture. Strip away the jazz funk guitar moments and turn down the piano so it’s not too overbearing and I would have loved this to death. As it is, it’s still very enjoyable.

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