Donny Benet : Electric Love
My love for Donny Benet is both unbounded and difficult to rationalise. Donny’s breakthrough debut of last year, Don’t Hold Back, is the only album of recent memory that I can recite every lyric verbatim. It’s a certified classic in my eyes. I guess it’s supposed to be funny in some sense, and a lot of listeners interpret it as such. But I guess what grabs me about Donny is that his tracks, whether it be from endearing naiveté or simplistic metaphor, cut to something that’s resoundingly genuine. “Let’s just make sweet love tonight,” the gentle cry on Don’t Hold Back standout Sophisticated Lover, somehow resonates more sincerely than anything else I heard in 2011, even more than Shogun’s cathartic howl of “I know she did” on Royal Headache’s Really In Love.
Electric Love is a relatively quick follow-up record. A handful of songs on the record, including the title track, have featured in Donny’s live before his studio debut, resulting in the sense that this is more an extension of Don’t Hold Back than a standalone artefact.
The signature pitch-bending Moog solos are still present, especially in the very excellent Gimme Your Heat, but this time around they’ve been joined by some very sensual sax work. All 4 You bounds into action with an irresistible slap-bassline, before a steamy, breathy leadup into its glorious sax solo payoff.
The album is limitless in its positivity. You Will Make It In LA is an uplifting jaunt, apparently dedicated to Donny’s mates Jack Ladder and Kirin J Callinan. Donny morphs into a benevolent Gordon Gekko on the anthem You Want To Win, providing a thousand self-help books’ worth of motivation within its spoken word breakdowns.
Sexy, smooth, and just plain good, Electric Love holds up as one of the standout local releases of 2012. I believe in Donny Benet.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
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In A Word: Sophisticated