FEEL THIS RHYTHM
Paul Benjamin was born in India, and now calls Saskatoon home, and Feel This Rhythm is his first CD, and folks it's an interesting one.
Benjamin clearly has had a diverse musical upbringing having studied Mrdangam and karnatic rythmic concepts as a youth in India, and then attending Grant MacEwen College in Edmonton majoring in drum set performance. It has created a definite world view to music, which Benjamin wraps in modern electronic covering, creating a unique musical experience in the process.
In some cases Benjamin has created potential hits. One Life To Live could be an R&B hit if it gets the proper airplay.
However, Benjamin has created a CD which as an entire package is not easily categorized. This is a CD with elements of jazz, from Cuban, Middle Eastern, R&B and of course the element of electronica which is large-part holds the entire package together.
Benjamin also uses a series of spoken-word interludes on the CD which add to its uniqueness, and are used effectively to add to, and further illustrate the international flavour contained here.
While there are a number of savoury elements here, at times Benjamin pushes a bit too far. Blog Song I guess is an effort to be 'hip and trendy', but it fails. This song is purely annoying, and you will wish you could hit delete, not just skip on the CD.
Although there are weak spots here, the overall approach is worth listening too. For example, as bad as Blog Song is, you will love the very next cut Sleep My Child, a deeply beautiful song with Candice Lacina providing the vocals (she should do a solo album).
Check it out at www.paulbenjamin.ca, it is unique enough to warrant a fan base.
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Mar. 5, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada