Robb Benson

A Collection of Songs I Forgot to Tell You About

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Prolific singer/songwriter Robb Benson has released nearly a dozen albums, both as a solo artist and with his former bands the Nevada Bachelors and the Dear John Letters, over the last decade, but somehow he's never quite broken beyond a tiny cult following. A Collection of Songs I Forgot to Tell You About is good enough that Benson's relative lack of recognition is quite puzzling: Benson has a solid voice, blending the best aspects of his Pacific Northwest contemporaries Ben Gibbard and Colin Meloy with few of their tics, and his songwriting and production suggest influences that range beyond modern-day indie pop into '70s AM radio territory along the lines of Todd Rundgren's more mainstream albums and the blue-eyed soul of early Hall & Oates. Instantly appealing pop tunes like the country-rocking "If I Had Met You at 21" and the wry string-drenched melodrama of "Night Shift Superstar" feature great one-liners in the lyrics; memorable tunes; and clever, varied arrangements. In this context, even potential filler tunes like the brief and largely instrumental "It's the Same Thing" and the odd wordless moans of "Exiting Belize" have their charms. The album is somewhat puzzlingly sequenced, with the last third weighed heavily toward solo acoustic ballads that would be more effective if they were salted throughout the album as a whole, but overall, A Collection of Songs I Forgot to Tell You About is good enough to be the album that finally gets Robb Benson noticed.

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