A future movie soundtrack!
I’m a big fan of Ben! I really loved his debut album “be safe, goodbye”. It really blew me away how talented he is. But now, he is NEXT LEVEL. Ben’s new single “City Life (dreading desire)” shows just how versatile he is as an artist. It’s so much different than the material on his album. It’s darker, it’s bigger and it’s more mature.
The start of the song opens up with the crashing sound of thunder in the distance. It instantly makes me think of Ben standing outside during a rainstorm, feeling a bit sad, broken, a bit angry, and just singing to no one but himself, and the sky. Like I said it feels super dark, like something out of a movie. And that’s what I love about it! Ben has also swapped his infamous guitar for a much darker sounding synths, stomach rumbling bass and a drum machine. However there are still some sprinkles of his slick guitar playing throughout the song, but it’s clear that Ben is headed in a new exciting direction. Swapping lyrics about begging his love to stay, to more X rated ones where he’s being much more assertive, more confident and feels like he’s saying to the person you either keep up with me, or you leave me.
“You don’t wanna fall in love with me, because I can’t be pleased, why can’t you see?” Is what echoes around during the huge chorus. I think it’s such a clever line, it’s almost like Ben has become numb to this person and is trying to warn them not to fall in love with him and waste their time because nothing they can do will make him feel satisfied. The whole song feels like it could fit right in on the latest “The Weeknd” record. It's the start of a more modern era in the discography of Ben Reidy.
“Expensive cars are all a facade cos I’m working towards what is real” this is a line that comes much later in the song, and is another favourite of mine. I feel like Ben let’s down his guard a little bit here and exposes a bit of vulnerability. He’s essentially saying that he’s not interested or bothered in this flashy lifestyle equals happiness equation that everyone else is caught up with. He’s set his sights on something completely different and more important to him, which I think is his music and being considered a successful musician? Or at least that’s how I interpreted it. Along with the instrumental taking on a different style, Ben has also taken on a much different approach to his vocals and has traded his powerful belts for a quick off the cuff rap style which kind of acts like an instrument in itself. Instead of his voice taking on a more melodic and slow style, it follows the rhythm of the song acting like another drum that really helps the flow and feel of the song maintain its fast, in your face feel!
Something else that’s just come to me is there’s a warning that Ben puts out towards the end of the track. “Cos when loyalty is a rarity its f***ed when you’re nice.”, i think it’s maybe a warning and reminder to himself for future occasions. And like he says, in a generation where loyalty is a rarity, it’s seen as strange when you’re nice to someone and have good intentions. And the outcome of this is usually following the unfaithful people who then are bound to disappoint you. And of course the last line “be careful who you trust, make sure you think twice” is a reminder to always check over your shoulder, and although someone appears genuine, it doesn’t mean their intentions are just that. Maybe again it’s Ben reminding himself due to past encounters?
Overall, I can’t speak highly enough of young Ben who is only 17, but feels like he’s already an established act. And I think when an artist is in the process of making a second album or second single, they sometimes have the desire to branch out into a new genre and style but so often fear the unknown and stick to one style. But Ben has taken that in his stride and is now welcoming us to the new and improved Ben Reidy. Let the new era begin!
City Life (dreading desire) is out now on all streaming platforms!
Written by Jack Saunders
Frazer Mitchell - Producer, DJ, and Events Coordinator at Antix Music Network