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MP3 Sangster Meets Benson - Benson Meets Sangster

An album of semi-precious pop experiments that run the gamut from D.I.Y. clamor to polished intimacy.

17 MP3 Songs
POP: Beatles-pop, POP: 70''s Pop

And so, what have we now? Benson meets Sangster. Sangster meets Benson. A conundrum. A convocation. A call to arms.

And what are we to make of it? A conflagration? A contradiction? A bold journey down the dim path of great collaborations that litter the boulevards of music history? (Ella meets Ellington. Monk meets Mingus. Nancy Sinatra meets Lee Hazelwood. Bern Elliott and the Fenmen. All more than some of their parts...)

And who are these brave newcomers what dare to trod in the cuban-heeled boot-prints of giants? Rob Benson; formerly the dashing singer and songwriter for the much lamented Nevada Bachelors, and currently the leader of the acclaimed (and simply dreamy) Dear John Letters. Johnny Sangster; once the singing guitarist for Danish chart toppers the Sharing Patrol, he now makes his name as producer and engineer of an ever growing list of Seattle''s most popular combos, as well as playing guitar and keyboards in the aforementioned Dear John Letters, and his own (slightly less dreamy) Congratulatory.

And so to the matter at hand: an album of semi-precious pop experiments that run the gamut from D.I.Y clamor to polished intimacy. Recorded mostly by each at his respective home, this scatter-shot sonic approach has freed our protagonists from traditional rock band arrangements and standard verse/chorus song structures. Instead, their love of melody and spot-on vocalizing are the welds that keep this careening jalopy on its musical course.

The centerpiece of the record and best example of their collaborative method is the medley Love = Love. Back and forth from Sangster to Benson, Benson to Sangster, the song cycle moves forward never returning to the scene of the rhyme. Creating something new from its disparate pieces, yet never straying too far from it''s Beatle-esque mandate. Boroughs'' cut ups meet Townsend''s miniature rock operas.

And while the rest of the album''s counterpoint is song by song, each one''s forte informs the other''s. Sangster with his instrumental prowess, and Costello firmly on sleeve. Benson, ever pushing his melodies and voice within spittin'' of the abyss. Both reveling in the nascent joy of making new sounds, new music, new songs.

So, indeed, what have we now? A thoroughly modern collaboration, enabled by today''s digital recording technology. Yet at its essence is the give and take of the folk-singers'' song circle. A semi-long distance jam session with songwriting as the instrument. A conoodling. A contre-dance. A confirmation of the goodness of singing in a musically evil time.

Lord Wellingsman Broilmaster
Contributing editor, Electric Bird Digest-The Journal of the Amateur Electrobird.

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