BWW Album Review: Ben Platt's SING TO ME INSTEAD Radiates Pure Joy
Ben Platt's SING TO ME INSTEAD is ready to be the pop album you leave on repeat all spring long, and deservedly so. His soaring vocals, especially those grandiose belts, sans the affectations of Evan Hansen dazzle across the record, making each of the tunes - whether an up-tempo bop or a soulful ballad - command the attention of the listener. Truthfully, SING TO ME INSTEAD is pure joy, making repeat listens more than welcomed; they are essential.
Listening to the album, one cannot help but wonder how deeply influenced Ben Platt was by the likes of Sam Smith and Matt Doyle's UNCONTROLLED while composing and writing. A songwriter indeed, Platt has a writing credit on each of the tracks on SING TO ME INSTEAD. Moreover, the record feels like a love child between Smith's and Doyle's individual abilities to craft a heartfelt lyric that sticks to your ribs and to compose a melody that moves you with its unabashed emotional sincerity.
The album's opener, "Bad Habit," was also released as the first single off the album. The inviting warmth of the piano draws the listeners in. This ambience is matched by Platt's honeyed vocals through the first verse and into the chorus. By the time his crescendos signal the drums and guitars to join in on the fun, Platt has already won listeners over. We anticipate his belts in the climax of the song, which he delivers with aplomb, and eat out of the palm of his hand for the rest of the record.
Other stand out songs on the album include "Ease My Mind," a heart melting ballad of how powerfully comforting someone else's love for us can really be; the sweetly stirring "Grow As We Go," which gently reminds us that building a relationship is work for all parties involved; the achingly beautiful "Hurt Me Once," a heartrending ballad about recognizing the need to cut ties once love is lost; the anthem "New," which is a brilliantly feisty tune with the theme of reclaiming one's self;" and the pristinely tender and deeply resonant "In Case You Don't Live Forever."
Released by Atlantic, I only hope that this album is the beginning of a long and fortuitous relationship between the label and Platt as solo performer. As far as debut albums go, you don't get much more solid than SING TO ME INSTEAD. At a brief 44 minutes and 49 seconds, this wonderful record definitely will leave you wanting more. Therefore, a follow up album cannot come quickly enough.