20 Sep 2019

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Ben Ruegg - Album Review: The Road (Remastered)

22 May 2019 // A review by Lou Clement
Auckland-based musician Ben Ruegg’s album The Road, frets through emotion-laden lyrics and surges from an acoustic-indie tone to a rockier bent with nostalgic guitar solos and drums. The album is stitched together with Ruegg’s refined and considered vocals.

Ten years on, Ben Ruegg has remastered and re-released this eight-track album. I imagine this is a chance for an artist to reflect on their influences and to see how their music has developed in the intervening time. Personally, when I look back I can see the seed of ideas for other work, sort of a subconscious adventure into the past.

On first listen, I didn’t know the music was ten years old and I liked the tracks immediately. From the get-go, it made me feel a bit cosy, actually. I’m about the same age as Ruegg and so it harks back to a shared era in music.

After a slightly spooky opening, the title track The Road is full of indie influences: long crescendos of electric guitars and pained lyrics. Whilst in Invisible the strings section simmer and soar with lyrics of longing and a voice delicate and evocative. Try, Try, Try slows the pace down, a love song and a rock ballad. Ruegg’s voice breaks over the notes, before a key change and big electric guitar lifts the song briefly in an anthemic direction; a strong card in the suit. It’s the emotions at play in the lyrics that have shaped the composition and although not seamless, to me, this track articulates an authentic feeling. Again, in I Wish, the electric guitar solo ramps up and takes centre stage, vocals are tested, with an energetic and more experimental feel.

The hidden track Sure, Tea? I’m going to call cosmic-indie, distorted vocals, float between synthesisers and it’s not short of the powerful guitar composition, common to many of the tracks on this album. It’s a playful, parody, maybe? It made me smile anyway. Listening to his 2018 record I can hear this has continued to have an influence on his work too. Ruegg’s mind wasn’t quite made up on the genre of his music in The Road. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. It pulls on threads of music from an era rich in new genres and it goes beyond tribute to a testing bed for an obviously eager artist.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Ben Ruegg

My name is Ben Ruegg. I have been writing and performing since I was around 8. My love for music is endless. I don't say I like just one style of music because all music is different and reflects an artists current state of mind. That is exactly what my music does.
I love to tap into my inner self and reveal things I even keep secret from myself.

I hope you enjoy the passion as much I enjoy getting it to come out and end up in the recording and songs.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Ben Ruegg


If I Had A DeLorean
Year: 2019
Type: EP
The Road - Remastered
Year: 2019
Type: Album
The Journey
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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