Photo courtesy of Ben Ra

Local Review: Ben Ra – demoliri

Local Music Reviews

Ben Ra

Street: 05.13
Ben Ra = Yung Lean + 6LACK

After a few notable single releases, new hip-hop artist Ben Ra released his first full-length album, demoliri, this May. Ra discovers his voice on this relaxed, lo-fi debut album. Each track is short—the longest is “LASERS” at 2:40—and features chopped and reverb beats with muted snares and monotone vocals, reflecting the title by making what feels like a record full of demo tracks. The short songs cater well to the ever-shrinking attention spans of today’s society, giving each track the opportunity to be its own unique attraction. The downside to using demo-style tracks is that some sound cut short or unfinished—I would love to see some more fully-formed tracks in future albums. The casual titles also complement the more casual feel of the music. 

The album has a nice flow; it moves from the slow, romantic reverb beats of “ms. despain” and “need drums” to the upbeat “tu te vienes” and “east.” The latter is a standout on the record, incorporating a choppy, fast cadence with the ticking of a snare. Ra released “LASERS” as a single in April, giving the expectation for it to be a standout as well. It’s also one of the two tracks with another featured artist (alongside “tu te vienes”), hopping on the recent trend of musical collaborations. “LASERS” is a pop track with Drake-like beats and sing-songy vocals. And although it’s not a disappointment, it’s not the strongest track for a single. Along with “rose (grey),” “LASERS” felt more juvenile and seemed to expose the artist as up-and-coming rather than an established musician. Despite these few tracks, the album had its moments of sophistication and never lacked authenticity, something of which our society seems to be deprived of lately (especially in this genre). demoliri was a breath of fresh air and an easy listen—it’s something I would enjoy playing alone or out with friends. I am excited to see how Ben Ra’s music evolves on future albums. –Harper Haase

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