Benna CD review [Adult Swim]

Music Reviews
Benna CD review [Adult Swim]
Feb 25, 2003, 00:30

BENNA What's Meant To Be CD

What's Meant To Be is not unprecedented artistry. Nor is it unpleasant, sonically, lyrically, or polemically. Not too sweet, not too tart. OK. That's what it's not. What IS it? It is the third full-length release from NYC singer/songwriter Benna. It is filled with lovely, tomboyish charms. Vocally, Benna tends towards the homespun and plainspoken, though from time to time she'll break into fragile quavering, and on occasion stack up layer upon layer of angelic harmonies. In keeping with this, much of the accompaniment is largely no-nonsense strummy guitar, but there are tracks featuring a full band but even these maintain a light and lithe touch. Throughout, the album affects a genial rawness never verging on slickness or over burnishing (though the odd number does recall Susanna Hoffs on her first post-Bangles solo outing).

Her lyrics are typical but not clichéd. They are thoughtful ruminations of a 20-something woman encountering the various aspects of the urban-bohemian social matrix. A lot of songs are about relationships, both their bitter and sweet sides: breaking up, hooking up, et cetera. Her perspective is analytical and emotionally engaged enough to feel authentic, healthy and involving. If the Tsunami school of American Indie appeals to ye, this will also. [Adult Swim]

-Howard W.

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