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Ben Lee - The Rebirth of Venus

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Ben Lee is a pretty happy chap. He makes bright, perky pop music that hooks you in with one catchy track after another.

But catchy does not always equate with good. Infectious diseases are catchy. Nobody wants an infectious disease. (Except Lee who implored people to "catch my disease" on his last album Awake Is the New Sleep.) And after listening to the la-la-la chorus of Sing - or the toe-curling cringe of Bad Poetry - the prospect of a flesh-eating virus may not seem so painful.

Actually those aren't even the worst moments - they come later in the form of the gender-bending Boy with a Barbie and I'm a Woman Too. The first is a jarring, synth-heavy dream-pop track, while the latter is a bizarre tribute to womankind that could actually cause offence (were it not so ridiculous) with the lyrics: "I'm a woman too/I don't make sense/But I got my reasons".

But the most annoying thing about Lee's music is how literal it is. Lee's songs are as subtle and sophisticated as fluoro pink finger-paintings on a white wall.

On the track I Love Pop Music he claims pop music is philosophy you can dance too. But in truth there is nothing philosophical, or even vaguely intelligent, about Lee's self-indulgent twaddle.

It's annoying and catchy. And not in a good way.

Joanna Hunkin



- NZ Herald

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