Ben Lorentzen, America in Three Acts

By Antiem Boyd
Ben Lorentzen is after you having an experience with his latest record America. The self-labeled ”Acoustic Pop Noir” artist is highly skilled at telling stories. Every track on his latest record America is its own little movie, complete with three acts for each song, all gorgeously rendered.

The first tendency is to hear the album as downtempo and dramatically dismal. But the true key to America is there’s a real experience behind the songs. This makes the album rather beautiful. Whether the stories are personal or an amalgam other people’s longing and pain, Lorentzen lets the rain in. Which makes us appreciate the sunshine so much more.

Lorentzen is a connoisseur of sad songs, a tradition you might say. “It started out with my mum singing me sad songs, before I can remember. She told me I would cry and beg her for more,” the Norweigan singer says.

The artist has a Harry Chapin edge to his story crafting, especially on songs like “Iron Bells.” There’s a sting, a bitterness, and then the healing clarity in the way Lorentzen spills his guts. You don’t get songs like “Wasteland” without some blood, tears, and gravity.

America is certainly an honorable contribution to the Americana, singer/songwriter genres. But it’s definitely much more than a genre. The result is contemplative, truthful, and truly an uplifting experience. Listeners are sure to beg him for more.

Stand Out Tracks:
“The Ugliest Girl in the World”
“Evergreen Tree”
“Iron Bells”
“Jesus, John and I”

“The Ugliest Girl in the World”

Members / Instruments:
Ben Lorentzen: Guitars, Bass, Piano, Banjo, Organs, Synths

Production: Ben Lorentzen

America Tracklisting:

1. My American Revolution
2. The Ugliest Girl in the World
3. Evergreen Tree
4. Bring Home the Angels
5. Heaps of Ashes
6. Masters of War
7. These Sudden Changes
8. Iron Bells
9. Wasteland
10. Down Is the only Way Out
11. Jesus, John and I