Artist: Ben Lee (Official, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, BandCamp, Wikipedia)
Ben Lee's 11th proper studio album Freedom, Love, And The Recuperation Of The Human Mind is an indie folk pop masterpiece. Perfectly picking up where last year's excellent Love is the Great Rebellion left off, this record dives even deeper into the spiritual nature of love, the human mind, and the entire notion of self. An incredibly simple album, Freedom, Love, and... is driven by Lee's gentle acoustic guitar work and passionately unique vocal delivery resulting in a tranquility that eases the mind, body, and soul. Lee has always been at his best when writing undeniable pop songs and while this is some of his most stripped down material to date, it certainly still showcases his brilliant sensibilities. Now here's the deal: Ben Lee is a bit of a polarizing figure. I'd even venture to say that you either get Ben Lee or you don't (and even if you do, sometimes you don't...for example I had a hard time wrapping my head around the Deeper into Dream and Ayahuasca: Welcome to the Work records). Rolling Stone Australia stated "Ben Lee walks a blurred line of dewey-eyed idealistic optimism and insufferable pretension, but his transition from precocious pop maestro to folksy ‘adult' pop has been quietly impressive." The second half of this sentence completely hits the nail on the head in regards to his music while the first half pretty much describes how people most likely perceive and react to Ben Lee (hell The Ataris went so far as to put their dislike of the man into song). I for one love Ben Lee's music, admire the man and his work, and find great comfort in Freedom, Love, And The Recuperation Of The Human Mind in these trying times.