Benny Benassi – Electroman (album review)
Benny Benassi is out with a new album this week called “Electroman“, and the electro man himself has enlisted quite the assortment of outside talent to contribute to the EP. We’ve already heard quite a few songs from the release, but there are a were also new tracks that were fresh to our seasoned ears. Read along after the break for a quick rundown of the good, the bad, and the kinda annoying to find out whether or not this is one album you should press “download” on or not.
The album opens up with a track called “Good Girl” that has a soft opening before transitioning into signature Benassi synths. There are Daft Punk sounding vocals over the entire track, and we’ll be honest that it wasn’t one of our favorites on the album. The hook is nice, but it’s just a little repetitive and doesn’t have anything particularly noteworthy. This trend continues with the second song, “Rather Be” which has lyrics by Shanell. The pop-sounding track isn’t terrible, but just feels like a bit of a giveaway, and the chorus reminds us a bit of a No Doubt track.
The third song on the album is “Spaceship,” a song we’ve liked since we heard it first about a year ago. Kelis’ lyrics are spot-on, and her voice just works so nicely with the background track devoid of obnoxious synths. Apl of the Black Eyed Peas is also present on the track, as is Jean-Baptiste. This song didn’t get the attention it deserved when it first emerged from the woodwork, and maybe that’ll change now that it’s getting a proper release.
The goodness continues with “Beautiful People”, another track that isn’t particularly new but works well to meld Chris Brown’s soulful voice over a more toned-down Benassi production. It’s almost a sort of male counterpart to “Spaceship”, and we’re actually quite fond of this one. The same can’t be said for “My House”, which again brings in vocals from Jean-Baptiste, but is a fairly forgettable track with some obscure lyrics. “It’s my house… let’s start a fire.” …
Next up is a string of three songs we’ve heard already, starting off with “House Music”, a heavy electro track that packs quite a punch. The album wouldn’t be complete without the megahit that is “Cinema” and showcases Gary Go on vocals against a backdrop with just the right amount of synths. The official release also includes the Skrillex remix, which is a pretty awesome song in its own right. “Electroman” is a great followup that comes up next on the album. T-Pain’s lyrics meld surprisingly well with the synthy backdrop that produces a pretty nice final product. (*Side note: If you haven’t heard the John Dahlback remix of “Electroman”, download it ASAP. Featured in Tiesto’s Club Life podcast and various other livesets, this remix is a banger — we’re surprised it wasn’t included in the release.)
“Automatic B” is another track that we’re not particularly fond of, and sounds quite like missiles being shot off into space at rapid fire… in never-ending succession. Somewhere in the middle there’s a low point that had us anticipating a big change in the direction of the track, but it simply came back with the same pulsating synths at painfully high pitches. The end of the album has a few more forgettable tracks, like “Control”, “Leave This Club”, and “Close to Me”, before finishing up with a grand finale featuring vocals from… The Ying Yang Twins? Maybe it’s just us, but this is quite a bizarre way to end things off, with “All The Way (Live)”. It honestly sounds like a track from 1999, and we were just not fond of it.
If we had to choose one word to describe Benassi’s latest production, we’d probably use “inconsistent.” We really love some of the songs on this album, but there were others that left us wishing for more. It’s also unfortunate that many of the tracks we really enjoyed, we’ve been enjoying for a couple of months already (or in the case of “Spaceship”, since last year). Still, we can’t fault him for staying true to his sound and becoming a true master of it, but we just wish he would explore in new directions that reflect some of the emerging trends in EDM. Whether or not you pick up this album will probably depend on how many of the existing tracks you already have in your iTunes library, but if you’ve already got the big ones (and if you’re reading this site, you probably do), you’ll probably be fine to skip it. B-