Melbourne-born Ben Browning has ten decades of practice behind him as ‘Cut Copy’s’ bassist, which he now deploys on his debut LP. And so, let’s ignore any ‘Cut Copy’ comparisons and look at ‘Turns’in its own right. After all, this is Browning’s turning point.
His signature mono-strained vocals lay hypnotically over the electronic-pop tracks and while on the whole the LP coasts along quite nicely, Browning could turn everything up one more notch.
There is experimentation throughout the release. ’Life Dudes (Tripping Through Royal Park)’opens with synthesised melodic bird song and melodic electronica. However, even with this chirpy rhythm the track simply goes no-where and feels more like a filler than a considered album track. Thankfully this track is a rare low-point to proceedings.
The pleasant and inoffensive ‘Beaches of Love’takes the LP in a different direction with dreamy shooting synths and breathy exchanges that bizarrely sound as though they could have been pulled from a Mauritian holiday infomercial. And there is further experimentation on ‘Are You Acting?’;with an inspirational, matter-of-fact voice-over, complete with swishes and whirls that have the presence of a 90’s video arcade.
Both ‘You Can Be There’and ‘Friends of Mine’are real pleasers and turn the tempo up. The former is invigorating and comes a-top with all the bells, whistles and flutes, while the latteris easily the most commercially relevant track on the LP.
Browning has built up a niche following so far and he seems to have a hardcore fan following on his social networks. However, his recent streaming session on ‘The New York Times’ website may bring this album to the attention of a much wider audience. One thing is for certain – this release proves that the artist is here for the long haul.