Ben DeLaurentis will officially drop his first solo album August 21. It’s called Liar for a Muse, and it was recorded and mixed in his home studio. DeLaurentis is the founder of Steal the Prize, a Virginia-based rock band that’s been around since 2006.
Liar for a Muse contains 10 tracks of acoustic folk rock. “As Good as It Gets” opens the album with gentle, mid-tempo folk rock. Vaguely reminiscent of Paul Simon, the tune features ‘50s-flavored vocal harmonies complementing DeLaurentis’ slightly scratchy tenor.
The title track features a soft acoustic guitar accented by the drawling cry of an electric guitar. The folk tune wafts softly along, as DeLaurentis croons overhead. Unfortunately, his voice isn’t always smooth and on-key. “Whatever Side of Me” is a country-lite tune with a simple, Spartan feel.
“Mine All Mine” is a jaunty pop-flavored lounge tune with R&B/soul aromas floating through it. It’s a good song, but nothing special. Sadly, it comes across as derivative and monotonous, probably because it lacks coruscation and texture. “Not a Doubt” emanates mellow folk harmonics, but once again is devoid of any allure.
“Little Lion Tamer” resembles a spruced-up lullaby, like something you’d hear in a coffee house in San Francisco on open-mic night. The last track on the album, entitled “Half Hearted Love,” is the best track on it because of budding rhythm from a bassline that provides a little pizzazz. A gleaming guitar solo, with Latin-lite hues, imbues the tune with attractive coloration.
Alas, Liar for a Muse offers little to recommend. The songs feel dragged down by gravity, while DeLaurentis’ voice wants for energy and sonic charisma, exuding didactic reflection rather than captivating sonority. In short, listening to Liar for a Muse is akin to listening to a mediocre string quartet, dry and calcified.