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The Art of Disappointment

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Album Review

The Benjamins shamelessly display all things great and endlessly endearing about power pop: instantly digestible melodies; short and tuneful solos; bottom-heavy distorted fuzz bass; a pounding backbeat; multiple layers of guitar crunch; harmonic bliss; and lyrics of love lost, love found, and love unrequited. Delivered in a devil-may-care attitude with heart in hand and tongue in cheek, the Benjamins' youthful exuberance crashes through with the force of a teenage sunami. "Sophia on the Stereo" is an aural paean to the Cars that symbolically opens with the scratchy sounds of a car radio before giving way to the onslaught of noodling synthesizer riffs, "uh-oh" backing vocals, the always reliable I-IV-V chord progression, and lyrics imbedded in the tradition of late-'70s new wave. In "Couch," a paint-by-numbers Cheap Trick tribute, Jay Stys comically pines, "Molly Ringwald, me and you, 16 candles, lonely summers." The Art of Disappointment is a pop/rock joyride without filler.


Formed: October, 1999 in New Jersey

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

New Jersey's the Benjamins (not to be confused with the Milwaukee pop-punk band signed to Drive-Thru Records in the early 2000s) were formed in October 1999 by vocalist Joe DeGennaro, bassist Ben DeGennaro, keyboardist Roger Hitchuk, and drummer Jeremy Luke. The alternative rockers initially came together solely as a covers act playing around the Jersey Shore, and with a repertoire that included radio and MTV hits alongside '80s favorites like Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl," a-ha's "Take on Me,"...
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The Art of Disappointment, The Benjamins
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