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The Mentor

The student news site of Manhattan High School

The Mentor

Benson Boone delivers reasonably good first album


21 year old Benson Boone is aiming for a greater success most artists aspire to achieve. Though his career is just starting, his numbers are nothing if not impressive. I’ve been a laid-back fan and haven’t paid much attention to his music, but I always heard people talking about his new songs. He got his start from auditioning on season 19 of American Idol and by getting a great reaction from the judges. He quit the show before the season ended but has quickly built himself a dedicated fan-base.

After much anticipation, his debut album “Fireworks & Rollerblades” is finally here. The lead single “Beautiful Things” skyrocketed to the top of charts and consistently stayed there for a consecutive eight weeks. A personal favorite of mine is “In The Stars.” It’s descriptive and paints an image of a quiet love that was simple and good while it lasted but talks about how he’s having trouble coming to terms with the fact that it’s over. “I’m still holding onto everything that’s dead and gone I don’t wanna say goodbye ‘cause this one means forever…” he sings. The lyricism is in general good, there are moments where it really shines but others where it dulls.

The fact that this album is extremely forgettable while having 25 producers, and 15 writers is disappointing. In my opinion, there’s a clear distinction between ‘album artists’ and ‘single artists.’ When I think of albums artists, I think of the likes of Lorde, Rihanna, Billie Eilish, Kacey Musgraves, and Frank Ocean. Boone is not an album artist, but instead excels at doing singles. I think the main thing that stops me from really getting into his music is the lack of authenticity. He needs to find his artistic identity and push himself out of his comfort zone. Because respectfully, all his work just feels like another young artist that will be forgotten if he doesn’t switch it up.

From the jump, the album is confusing. Who is this narrator centering himself but not looking squarely at us through the lens? He could have talked about a number of things. Such as his childhood, his rise and relationship to fame, but instead opted to talk about a failed relationship and how he wishes she’d come back. There isn’t much of a story or chronological timeline that the listener is able to follow and to make matters worse, the production isn’t a standout or even attempts to push the boundaries at all.

Will I be listening again? No. But I can still admit that he has so much potential and that this is by no means a bad album. I just wish I could’ve heard more from him instead of his co-writer and producers’ thoughts and ideas. This sound doesn’t feel like him. It’s overwhelming and somehow underwhelming? I can see him taking on a sound that’s comparable to Harry Styles. Boone’s voice is amazing, he needs some interesting production that knows when to place the spotlight on his voice.

In general I’d say that he’s a good artist but is missing a lot of things that would make him a great artist. Despite all of my criticisms, he undoubtedly has a strong work ethic and the confidence that will take him far in the music industry. I’m definitely going to be listening to his sophomore album to see how his artistry evolves.

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