ALBUM REVIEW - Ben Dipper "Burrowed in the Bedroom"

Album Review by Torin Andersen Written, Recorded, Produced, and Mixed by Ben Snook Mastered by David Lord & Micajah Ryan Album Photo by Madeline Niemackle Album Layout and Design by Ben Snook Release November 29th, 2016 Air House Records

Album Review by Torin Andersen
Written, Recorded, Produced, and Mixed by Ben Snook
Mastered by David Lord & Micajah Ryan
Album Photo by Madeline Niemackle
Album Layout and Design by Ben Snook
Release November 29th, 2016
Air House Records

Spinning, twirling and bouncing with a focused beat, Ben Dipper opens Burrowed in the Bedroom like a quick blast through the milky way before landing in an energetic, lo-fi, solo exploratory jaunt with opener, "Shattered Saturn".

Using heavy electronic production effects, Burrowed in the Bedroom will grab your attention while these pop songs caress the ear.  Writer, producer, recording engineer and mixer, Ben Snook (a.k.a. Ben Dipper) likely burrowed himself in the bedroom producing this pop cornucopia just in time for the holidays.

Following "Shattered Saturn", "Skinsplitting" is similar in tone, with bouncy acoustic guitars over electronic beats. However, this song opens a little more personally. "I am as futile as the fingers I own, I have a lot of little places that I don’t like to show," sings Snook, revealing an artist who isn’t afraid of a little exposure. Although some production techniques in "While They Shoot Sharply" may appear to cloak Snook's performance, the layers are stripped on the fourth track, "7x This Mourning."

Sweet and almost like a lullaby, "7x This Mourning" has a bit of walking bass line over a skipping sound and finger snaps. Snook's vocals are vulnerable and open. Repeating the chorus, "Do you want to mean this much?", Snook avails himself. "My head’s tunneling the colors of everything, spread my body all around the blanket on my head."

Losing the acoustic guitar, "Said, Smiling" employs a slightly more expansive song form. A heavy kick drum that breaks wide to open sonic expanses falls to an abstract found-sound recording for an ending. "Said, Smiling" comes off like a sketch and is an excellent tool for transitioning into "Here’s to Entering Tomorrow."

Track six on Burrowed in the Bedroom seems like the biggest stylistic departure for Air House Records, but the rest of Ben Dipper's release fits snugly into the rest of the catalogue. Booming bass and hip-hop-like beats thunder in this angelic choir-like vocal performance about lost love, "I’m not seeing you, adios, every love leaves."

"Feels to Feel Sure" sounds like a period piece. I recall English painter Jack Vettriano of the famous "The Singing Butler." Stylized, heavily constructed and with just the right amount of romance, "Feels to Feel Sure" is class wrapped in an old tin can guitar.

"Picture Prison" is lyrically lengthy and potentially the most deeply felt track on this debut release by Ben Dipper.  A fun release, Burrowed in the Bedroom resides within a heavily constructed world that can easily be imagined with long lost friends and lovers together in a bedroom that has seen its share of pillow forts alongside pillow talk. And not to be taken too lightly, "Sun in Your Jaw" adds some weight.

Still a fun pop performance, lyrics like "When you're losing your grip on it, don't withdraw, pull the moon out from your tongue and put the sun in your jaw, and when your body is laying there, whirring on disregard the distance and don't worry, Mom" are haunting. The track "Sun in your Jaw" has a chilling opening line: "You're not afraid to die and it makes me scared you sat in your car in the cold so impaired" seems to recall a dark image and story to match.

Continuing into the depths, "Cement On My Semantic Feet" conjures more dark imagery, only now with a darker melodic structure. While retaining the bouncing electronic drums and acoustic guitars, a minor sounding melody begins to creep in to Burrowed in the Bedroom, giving a whole new look at the album title.

"Chasing Tape" speaks about divorce over stumbling electronic beats and psychedelic steel drum synths, in contrast to "The Hours", which is a simple passage sung between a man and his guitar. Heart wrenching and lonely, the lyrics "We're wondrous, wondering the now, I'll take care to you, it's the hours that melt me, melt me anew" hurts a bit in contrast to the majority of this release, and most closely resembles the cover image of lonesome disco ball lights against a vacant bedroom. "The Hours" is a stand out song even in its brevity.

"Blondly Funs" is not as fun as the title may lead one to think. The song is churning and stark. Distorted, crackling and momentarily squelching, the structure lends itself to lines like, "I hardly know your name, your nature can turn quick to a flame, for a while you were mine but you’ll never be my dame."

"Drinking in the dreams that still seem like reveries," is a line pulled from album closer "Often Poppies" and seems to sum up Burrowed in the Bedroom well. At first glance the album appears to exclusively contain sugar infused melodic ear candy, but upon closer review we find an artist who is willing to expose himself, even if only while burrowed in the bedroom.

To hear Ben Dipper's Burrowed in the Bedroom in its entirety, please visit bendipper.bandcamp.com