22154229_1703573196321479_1146222835373138616_nI often hear people posing the question of how you can take the singer-songwriter, one voice, one guitar format and update it for the modern musical audience? My response is why should you have to? Not only is there an “if it ain’t broke…” attitude driving my response, are you really trying to tell us that all the stories which suit this format have now been told? That the style that worked for Bob and Joni is no longer appropriate? Of course not. The art of it is, as with most things, not to try to change the format but just be yourself within it. And even though Ben Brookes is clearly following a tradition which has served us so well for so long, he also very much sounds like…well, Ben Brookes.

But the real killer here, the full stop at the end of the argument, is that  Integration… is very much his own song and his own sound, it stands out from the pack, a pack normally comprised of plagiarists probably in a wide-brimmed hat and with designer rips in their black, skinny jeans. Ben however takes his own musical road, one filled with a great combination of 60’s coffee shop folk and modern indie-pop vibes, one which tips its proverbial rather than actual hat to past pioneers whilst embracing where that format can go next. And on the sound of this song, where it goes next is an emotive, less is more, place filled with integrity, intelligence and most of all great song writing. Count me along for the ride.



Previous articleScene and Heard – CCXVIII : It’s Up To Us! – Phillip Foxley
Next articleEverybody Move –  Man Called Noon (reviewed by Dave Franklin)
Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.


  1. […] The thing I love about this album is that even though this Portsmouth lad was whisked off to one of America’s most iconic music cities and surrounded by the great and good of that countries music, the mercurially named Motor Car and The Weather Balloon is an album with its sonic roots planted firmly in British music history. In turns the echoes of Bowie, The Kinks, The Beatles, Brit Pop and New Wave can be heard pumping through the veins of the music adding pathos and familiarity but the beating heart driving it is all quintessentially Ben. […]

Leave a Reply