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Review of 'Narrated for You' by Alec Benjamin

This album has been long awaited by his fans, new and old, and it covers a range of scenarios from the mind of the talented, young artist, Alec Benjamin.

Alec Benjamin's 'Narrated For You' //

Alec Benjamin had recently tasted mainstream success with his single "Let Me Down Slowly,which isn't his first hit, but was definitely his biggest hit to date. In 2016, Benjamin released a song, or the demo of a song, called "Water Fountain." This track, the story of girl that is in love with a boy who only wants her for her body from the point of view of the boy who truly loves her, currently has 11 million YouTube views and is steady climbing.

Other earlier songs, such as "Swim" (Previously titled "Swim Until You Love Me"), "1994," and "I Built a Friend" are also featured on this album. This album really just seems to be a collection of most of his previously released songs, some reevaluated or remade, with three or four new songs thrown in the mix. This, however, is a very common thing for artists of all genres and all popularity to do.

As an older fan, even if it's only been about two years, I fully expect Alec Benjamin to bring not only a good song to the table, but an amazing, heart wrenching story, as well. I expected the recurrent theme of young, innocent love in inconvenient scenarios or something loosely based around his religious views, and I believe that this album brought just what we expected to hear.

Having said that, I don't think (at least in Alec Benjamin's case) that that is necessarily a bad thing. One thing about Benjamin that really stand out to me, and I'm sure most others as well, is the fact that even if they carry similar themes, each of his songs is very different. From the tempo, to the tone, to the lyrics, he never delivers the same thing twice. The songs, although all of them are carefully handcrafted beat by beat, could be interpreted in many different ways and do have some obvious lines to tell the listener what Benjamin intended for the songs to be about.

In the first verse of his new release "If I Killed Someone For You," Benjamin strongly suggests that he would do whatever it takes to make the listener happy, even literally kill for them. The first verse, which talks about cleaning up the crime scene and getting rid of evidence, goes on to say, "I did all for her so I felt nothing at all," This could be his way of saying he is blinded by his love for her because it's just so strong. He would never refuse anything she asks, because she's so perfect and could never do any wrong in his eyes, so everything she asks of him is also saintly.

The chorus follows up with the questions from the young singer to his listener, asking if they would love him more if he did something as drastic as committing homicide for her, and if she would still be there to hide him when the police come looking for him. Assumably, she agreed. The assumption helps reel in the next verse. Verse two, in which Benjamin is running from the authorities in disguise, and shows up to the girl's house, hoping she'll keep her word and help him out of his situation. She says that she does not recognize the suspect, even as he tells her what he did and asks her to for her help.

The real heartbreaker of this song, if you don't think the whole thing is heartbreaking, is the bridge. In these four lines, Alec Benjamin changes the entire tone of the song from nervous to honest. He admits to this girl that he did not kill another individual, but instead, had killed his true self. He was so lost in "Changing what [he] was for what [she] wanted [him] to be," that he had truly gotten himself stuck in the position of being the perfect person that she wanted. He says that he changed his whole lifestyle for her, and admits that "there's just no going back." He is permanently changed, for better or worse, because he was so hopelessly in love with her.

On the flip side of that, there is a new release called "Steve," which despite the rather indistinct title, is based around his religious views. The song begins with him questioning the holy text of his religion, the Bible, saying, "I know the Bible isn't perfect / 'Cause it left one person out," He then says that the left out person's name is Steve, which is where the awfully vague song title came from.

Steve is the good guy of the story; the warning, or the saintly character. Steve tells Adam and Eve to stay away from the forbidden fruit, why they shouldn't touch it, and that the serpent is setting them up. Steve, in the nicest way possible, warns, "You should not go to that tree / The serpent knows the apple grows from a forbidden seed," Adam and Eve heed his warning.

The song, which I previously said was loosely based around his religious views, takes a turn for personal greed as well as generalized society in the bridge. Benjamin clearly states that "sometimes [he] feels like Adam," By this he means that he often wants what he does not have, despite already having all that he needs. Even though he has a great life and family and is happy and healthy, he cannot help but also want to just have a taste of that forbidden fruit, like Adam.

Narrated For You by Alec Benjamin, is definitely a must listen to for you and all of your friends. The sing-a-long vibes from the songs, along with the emotion packed stories beside them, make for an amazing album from an extraordinary artist who has proven he is worthy of his platform and much more.

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