23 Jan 2021
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Ben Hazlewood - Album Review: Bloodline

27 Jul 2020 // A review by Mike Alexander

Ben Hazlewood is a songwriter for those big moments that we all encounter when we fall in and out of love.

For all the potential for joy, intimacy, belonging and fulfilment, when things fall apart there’s also the potential for deception, heartbreak, bewilderment and sadness.

On his debut album Bloodline, he’s certainly not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. A song such as the sweetly touching first single Lay Me Down typifies his openness and honesty.

It opens gently enough with a lovely guitar melody and a steady drum beat under-pinning the almost yearning lyric "holding out for everything that I have missed, the pull is strong, surrendering into it./ Reaching out and aiming true to be with you is my only desire". Then it deftly turns into a power pop anthem with a rousing chorus echoing around the sentiment of the song "I need a night, I need a night of whispers, come lay me down". The chorus echoes around Hazlewood’s plaintive multi-layered vocals, giving it an additional emotional surge.

Lover and The Way You Do are also fully charged 'love' songs to let your thoughts and feelings get lost in. They might idealise the object of their affection but it’s that common touch, with his own unique perspective that gives them, and the pumping but thoughtfully reflective Damned, their appeal.

Hazlewood, who cites David Bowie, Stevie Nicks, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin among his influences, also throws up some insightful lyrics into 'the human condition' particularly on the stunning Fear Is Catching, which wouldn’t sound out of place in a U2 concert.

The lyric "I fall, I break like anyone else" is suggestive enough but the real pause for thought moment is in the line "I know the strength it takes to win the fight against myself". It’s always difficult to face up to ourselves and the choices we keep making, particularly when we find ourselves falling into the same old patterns and mistakes. It is that tiny spark of self-honesty that fires up Fear Is Catching into a song that could so easily have wallowed in self-centredness but, instead, turns into something cathartic.

Bloodline is a bold and refreshing opening statement that has commercial appeal in aces. If Hazlewood was a poker player, you could argue that he’s easy to read but perhaps that’s just the confidence of knowing that you are holding a winning hand.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Ben Hazlewood

Ben Hazlewood is the rare artist with a voice dynamic enough to captivate almost completely on its own.

As an anthemic alt-pop artist, raised on artists like Jim Morrison, David Bowie, Stevie Nicks, and Janis Joplin, his music channels an outrageous vocal strength and an emotive soul filled force. a force matched only by his magnetic stage presence and glam-rock-inspired fashion sensibilities.

His debut album Bloodline is the culmination of years of hard work. A journey that started near Wellington, New Zealand, then ventured to London for three years, where Ben fronted a rock band, before relocating to Australia, where Ben now calls Melbourne home.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Ben Hazlewood

Releases

Bloodline
Year: 2020
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Mike Alexander

Claire Cowan - Composition Review: Hansel and Gretel
16 Dec 2020 // by Mike Alexander
The Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gretel is, ah, rather 'grim' to say the least. It’s the story of a brother and sister who get lost in the woods and are befriended by a cannibalistic witch who lives in a house made out of sweet things, most notably gingerbread.
Read More...
Mahoney Harris - Single Review: The Shifting of the Light
19 Nov 2020 // by Mike Alexander
There's an evocative image conjured up early on in The Shifting of the Light that beautifully illustrates the underlying theme of letting go. In referring to "paradise ducks made for life returning to their bowers time after time" singer-songwriter Mahoney Harris might well be talking about 'soul-mates' or a similarly intimate relationship that felt as if it was meant to last but didn't.
Read More...
Eden Iris - Single Review: I Just Can't Turn It Off
12 Nov 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Having exorcised a few ghosts, so to speak, on her soul stirring 2018 EP Demons, Eden Iris is finally set to release her debut album next year. It’s been an age since the now LA-based, singer-songwriter first came to national attention through Mike Chunn’s Play It Strange competition.
Read More...
Lou'ana - Album Review: Moonlight Madness
29 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
The official release date for Lou'ana's debut album is October 30. Whether by design or accident, it’s serendipitous.
Read More...
Raw Collective - Single Review: Good Things (All We Need)
22 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Feel-good grooves are part of Raw Collective’s DNA. The Wellington-based 10-piece have been sowing sunflower seeds of optimism and cheerfulness for many a year now and it seems the well of goodness never dries.
Read More...
Naircol - Album Review: Isolate
16 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Naircol is Tauranga-based synthesiser whizz Matt Hennessey. I like that it is an anagram of clarion because this is quite the impressive calling card.
Read More...
Bartells - EP Review: Let's Go
08 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Sam Bartells has a way with words. In an interview with Darryl Baser from Muzic.
Read More...
Stretch - Album Review: Our Dreams Are Changing
30 Sep 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Anthony Stretch’s debut album Bury All Horses was one of the most poignant, lyrically honest and captivating albums of 2017. It was a 'dark horse', so to speak, forged in loss and loneliness, and at times a sense of anguish as he contemplated the direction of his life beyond the clouds that seemed as if they would never lift.
Read More...
View All Articles By Mike Alexander

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • DRIVERS LICENSE
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • WHY OH WHY
    L.A.B.
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • CONTROLLER
    L.A.B.
  • LEVITATING
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
  • GOOD DAYS
    SZA
  • MOOD
    24kGoldn feat. iann dior
  • NOT MY NEIGHBOUR
    Niko Walters
  • ANYONE
    Justin Bieber
  • SUNDOWN
    Six60
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem