Hey You Yes You
label: F-2 Music
our score: 2.5 out of 5.0
heard of him or not,
Ben Lee has had quite an impressive career in music already.
In 1993, at age 14, his band Noise Addict was signed to Fallaheen
Records. Soon thereafter the young band started gaining attention
from Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, who released their first EP
in the U.S. A debut single called "I Wish I Was Him,"
referring to Evan Dando (of Lemonheads fame) brought the band
to Dando's attention, who recorded a cover version. But it wasn't
until Mike Diamond of The Beastie Boys heard it that Lee got big.
As Noise Addict continued, so did Lee with the Grand Royal label
- his Young and Jaded EP acting as one of the label's
The band released
one more album and folded, leaving Lee to continue as a young
"prodigy" solo artist. His subsequent releases Grandpaw
Would, Something to Remember Me By and Blowing Tornadoes
built upon this reputation.
Still, I hadn't heard
Ben Lee before Hey You Yes You. At least not that I can
remember. And honestly, after repeated listens to his latest release,
Hey You Yes You, it wouldn't be surprising to have, three
years down the road, forgotten that I'd heard Ben Lee before.
You see, Hey
You Yes You is one of my least favourite types of albums.
It's an album that's nice, but that's about it. Based
around the singer-songwriter vibe, with a healthy dose of added
beats, synths and loops from Dan the Automator, there's not much
here to grab you. An argument could be made for the lyrics, but
really... lines like "Destiny is not up to me / It's not
my fault / Your love's like salt" (from "Aftertaste")
are hardly profound.
Yet, Hey You
Yes You does have a few high points. The single "No
Room to Bleed," an airy lovesick ballad succeeds on most
levels. Featuring Lee's slightly other-worldly vocals over a simple
piano loop and drum 'n' bass loop, it's one of the album's more
hopeless moments and a testament to what Lee could be.
Likewise, the dreamy guitar work of "Chills" also works
... lending one to think Lee may best be suited to the lighter
fare of sentimental artsy dreamworks rather than his more pop-oriented
In a time when
bands like The Postal Service are finally getting the lip service
they deserve, Ben Lee's Hey You Yes You seems like it
couldn't have come around at a beter time. Still, I can't help
but get the feeling that listening to Hey You Yes You
is like listening to The Postal Service, if you don't really like
The Postal Service. I can finally hear how this "emotronica"
music can come across as nice, but in the end be absolutely boring,
contrived and forgettable.
liked Hey You Yes You...
3. Dirty Mind
4. Something Borrowed, Something Blue
7. Music 4 The Young & Foolish
8. No Room to Bleed
9. On & On
11. In The Morning
12. Still On the Line