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Music Review: Benny Benassi – ‘Electroman’

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Benny BenassiBuilding upon his growing reputation both in clubland and mainstream pop circles, genre-traversing Italian DJ and remixer Benny Benassi makes a bid for U.S. commercial success in his own right with Electroman.

Although some of the tracks are overwhelmingly layered with washes of synths and keys, there is a handful of cuts here which strike just the right balance between club-geared and radio-friendly. “Beautiful People,” with its simple melody and message, is bolstered by an effectively understated vocal by R&B superstar Chris Brown, whose tone is just the right match for the house-tinged electro arrangement. Meanwhile, the more aggressive instrumental “House Music” keeps the vibe underground in a very effects-driven atmosphere, while “Automatic B” brings influences of rave and even Miami bass atop a minimalist arrangement.

A couple of the vocal collaborations, like “Control” and “Close to Me,” featuring Gary Go, lack melodies engaging enough to stand apart from the pack of DJ/artist collaborations currently infiltrating the market. However, stylistically flavorful pairings like “Rather Be” with Shanell and “Leave This Club Alone” with Dhany invite audiences of a variety of tastes to a party that’s refreshingly welcoming — and just might be the catalysts to propel a genre on the cusp of becoming the new contemporary-pop fashion to that next level.

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About Justin Kantor

Justin Kantor is a music journalist with a passion for in-depth artist interviews and reviews. Most of his interviews for Blogcritics can be heard on his Blog Talk Radio program, "Rhythmic Talk." Justin's work has been published in Wax Poetics, The All-Music Guide, and A graduate of Berklee College of Music's Music Business and Management program, he honed his writing chops as a teenager—publishing "The Hip Key" magazine from 1992-1996. The publication, which was created out of his childhood home in Virginia Beach, reached a circulation of 10,000 by the time he was 16. At Berklee, Justin continued to perfect his craft with a series of 'Underrated Soul' features for The Groove from 1997-2003. This led to a companion TV show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network in 2002, as well as writing for the national Dance Music Authority (DMA). A self-described "obscure pop, dance, and R&B junkie," Justin also has penned liner notes for reissue labels such as Edsel Records and FunkyTownGrooves. He's excited to be a part of the BlogCritics team and indulge his musical fancies even further. Connect with him at his Facebook page, or via