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The Ben Cameron Project: A Cycle Never Ending
The Ben Cameron Project A Cycle Never Ending CD Album Review

Ben Cameron: A Cycle Never Ending

Melodic Progressive Rock

Ben Cameron is an Australian born musician and composer living in England where, through The Ben Cameron Project, he writes and records melodic progressive rock. It's basically a DIY operation with Cameron at the helm as producer, writing all the music and lyrics, and then guiding guest musicians for the recording of the same. He finishes this by also doing the mixing and mastering. There's some hint that he does all the beer runs as well. (That was a joke.) A Cycle Never Ending is his second independent release.

Ben Cameron Photo

Ben Cameron

Now every time I hear of an artist or band named by taking the principal person and attaching "project" to it, I think of one thing. The Randy Disher Project from Monk, the hit USA television show of some years past. Disher was a bumbling police detective, a humorous foil to Mr. Monk, but also an aspiring guitar player. Along with three other guys he was trying to resurrect his high school rock band. Cutting to the chase, the other guys didn't like the band named after Disher and, even worse, Disher sucked at guitar playing and singing.

Where am I heading with this illustration? I'm glad you asked. One of the great things about being a solo artist is that you're in control. It's your music, created, arranged, and played they way you want it played. It's also, usually, your voice as well. If you're not playing all the instruments, you get to pick and choose your assisting musicians. The result is that Ben Cameron gets exactly what Ben Cameron wants. The downside of all this is simple: there's usually no other voice to tell you whether your music sucks or not. (I guess that's where we punters and pundits come in.)

Ben Cameron's music doesn't suck, not by any means, but it is rather lackluster and repetitious (while at the same time invoking some curiosity). Some of this simply comes from the tone and timbre of his voice. Cameron sounds dull, even monotonous, and then sad. It sounds like he's not enjoying himself, that maybe he's not even inspired by his own lyrics (or music). But mostly he isn't all that pleasant to listen to. It's not that he's harsh, hardcore, or does death vocals. No, he's sings melodic and clean. He simply sounds flat to me. Perhaps, if he can trust the right person, Cameron should farm out the vocals to another vocalist on his next album.

Turning to the music then, I think my next best description of Cameron's progressive rock would be that it sounds old. Old, like he's rehashing and replaying some mixture of King Crimson, Genesis, maybe some Gentle Giant, or simply any old English prog from the Seventies. But, unfortunately, I don't think his music would find an audience back then. Positively, Cameron is an ambitious composer, trying to pack many ideas and different genres into his music. It's melodic progressive rock, yet with hints of ambient and some jazz fusion. Also, the seven-string guitar is Cameron's chosen instrument, and his guitar lines are probably the single best highlight of each song.

For an album that I'm essentially ambivalent about that was whole lot of words. It's probably because I finally got a chance to use The Randy Disher Project allusion. Anyway. You can find more of Ben Cameron's music on the links above, and at his Bandcamp page. Check it out, you may feel differently.

The Ben Cameron Project - Colour In The Sky

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The Bottom Line

As a total DIY operation, composer and guitarist Ben Cameron uses his Project, with guest musicians, to make the kind of melodic progressive rock he enjoys, and hopes we will too.

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