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Awake Is the New Sleep

34 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 22, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Melding his pop savvy younger days with an assured optimism and matured musicianship, Awake Is The New Sleep breaks definitive ground for Ben Lee.

Ben Lee has been a mainstay on alternative rock airwaves; it’s hard to believe the Australian singer/songwriter is still only 26. For album number six he comes full circle on a decade of recordings, working with producer Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Smashing Pumpkins) who spearheaded the sound of Lee’s debut record Grandpaw Would in 1995. Awake… follows a comparable blueprint of 2002’s Hey You Yes You: uncomplicated, unassuming, no-gloss pop songs. But there is evidence of a newfangled wisdom in Lee and his sketches of songwriting dexterity, which include the distinctive pop-rocker ("Catch My Disease"), the persuasive ballad ("Get Gotten"), the adoring folk number ("The Debt Collectors") and an indulgently experimental nine-and-a-half minute opus ("Light"). Code one could be the riff-fully sanguine opener ("Whatever It Is") in which the author proposes we chase our instincts, then verifies on the ensuing 13 songs that he does just that. "They might tell you that you shouldn’t," sings Lee, "But do it. Whatever it is." --Scott Holter

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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Whatever It Is 3:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Gamble Everything For Love 3:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Begin 4:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Catch My Disease 4:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Apple Candy 3:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Ache For You 4:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Into The Dark 2:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. No Right Angles 3:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Get Gotten 3:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. Close I've Come 3:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. The Debt Collectors 2:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. We're All In This Together 4:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
13. Light 9:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
14. I'm Willing 4:01$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 22, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New West Records
  • ASIN: B00078GIAQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,665 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By erin tornado on February 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
having spent a few months with this record i feel ive had an adequate amount of time to give it a fair review. ive ben a fan of bens work for the last ten years and have followed him from record to record, style to style. i love all of his records in their own regard, however...

this record is by far the best thing that ben has ever recorded. by far. the production and arrangement of the songs are perfectly suited to the songs, their emotion - and what i feel is their message...their lessons. bens voice has never sounded better - his vocals on this record amaze me with every listen. laras keys throughout the record help give the songs a sparkle that brings the songs home.

highlights on the record to me are - begin and no right angles. i think those are the strongest tracks and the tracks that are best produced. i have an emotional closeness to ache for you, gamble everything for love and into the dark. the spiritualized journey of 'light' - the joy and VIBE in we're all in this together and catch my disease is infectious as it comes through your speakers. the addition of the crowd in this track does nothing but make you smile. :]

so the bottom line. if you're a ben newbie - buy this. if youve gone to a show and gotten the infectious inspiration drug he doles out, get this record. if you're a long time fan that is hesitant - dont be. this is ben at his best.

the future looks bright. and thats the way i like it.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David A. Rogers on May 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
After reading your review of Ben Lee's `Awake is the New Sleep', I was so taken aback by its stupidity and short-sightedness that I had to write a response.

I don't think it is valid to criticize music purely on the grounds that it doesn't conform to "certain rules of songwriting and music in general that must be obeyed". Should we be calling the police?

For your information HMC, good music ignores what it popular, what it expected and what is safe. Luminaries from Mozart to The Beatles to Eminem defied expectations on what music should be and as a result, changed the face of music for the better.

If we don't have artists who break these "rules", either by trying to fit five words where only four will fit or using non-scale notes and chords or fusing discordant styles of music, nothing changes and as a result music becomes stale.

Don't criticize an artist for trying something different, for trying to be individual.

And what's all this about non-western scales sounding strange to our ears? How is this relevant?

"Hmm, I was thinking of buying the new Ben Lee CD but after reading all this about non-tonal pentacostic scales, I think I'll buy something by an accomplished artist". Please. This seems to me as someone may have taken a music course at community college and wants to show off.

Awake is the New Sleep is a solid pop-rock album that is evidence of a songwriter not scared to wear his heart on his sleeve. It is sure to please Lee's solid fanbase. For new listeners, it won't change your life but it does have its moments.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Shopping too much! on August 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Certain artists carve out their own unique style without trying to be different. Take for example, this summer's "Odd Man Out" tour featuring Ben Lee, Rufus Wainwright, and Ben Folds. Each has a different style, they are all incredible songwriters and are talented piano/guitar players. I went to the show at the Wiltern in Los Angeles and arrived early enough to see Ben Lee and his performance was so incredible (and understated) that I had to get this album.

Songs like "Get Gotten" and "Gamble Everything For Love" show a melancholy side to Lee while still holding onto a cockeyed optimism that seems to be present in all of his songs. "Catch My Disease" is such a fun and catchy tune, I am not surprised at all that it landed on the "Deuce Bigilo: European Gigilo" soundtrack (not to imply that Ben Lee fans should see that movie...nobody should).

He has a sweet and almost naive view of the world and of love, but that is one of the things that make this album so endearing. And his soft boyish voice just add to the "everyman" appeal. I'd give this album more stars if I could, you definetely will not be dissapointed with this one.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Beard on February 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm gonna go ahead and disagree with everyone that says this is Ben Lee's best work, that's pretty ridiculous...Breathing Tornados and Something to Remember Me By were both much more creative and interesting albums. That's not to say I dislike this album- my problem with it is that it has a couple of really amazing songs and quite a few mediocre ones. Apple Candy and Begin are my two favorites, both of which are strongly reminiscent of the Breathing Tornados production style. They both start soft and simple and build towards the end, layering effects and drum tracks...Almost of all of the other songs fall victim to mindlessly repeating the title of the song, which makes them sound very very similar to one another. The mostly slow, methodical tempos do little to differentiate them from one another.

I hope that this review does not make me come across as anti-Ben Lee, because I am a huge fan and eagerly awaited this album...For some reason, it just feels as though he didn't care much in its construction, and I know that he can do, and has done, much better.
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