The Benjamins

Chronicles of the Garden State

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    5
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Musically adequate but utterly faceless, the Benjamins' Chronicles of the Garden State is basic mainstream mall-punk circa 2007. Singer Joe DeGenarro's voice is as forgettable and bland as his lyrics, which are themselves weirdly cold and detached. It's as if someone tried to write about teenage angst without ever having actually experienced it, so random lines were merely taken out of the MySpace blogs of total strangers and strung together over third-generation emo-pop riffs cribbed from other, better records. The ultra-clean production keeps every note in its place, adding to the album's stilted, artificial vibe. There really isn't a hint of an honest emotion anywhere to be found on Chronicles of the Garden State. Even the title sounds like they're trying to remind their target audience of that movie they really liked a couple years ago.

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