Album Review: Erik Grant Bennett – “Throwback”
Singer/songwriter Erik Grant Bennett saves the best nearly for last on his new album, Throwback. The ballad “Unbearable Ache” is as emotionally intense as its title, a confession of romantic longing that is as heartbreakingly gorgeous as country music gets. The unbridled passion in Bennett’s voice is keenly felt here, revealing a deep, profound love. A duet with Elise Bennett, their vocals blend together smoothly, echoing the song’s message of eternal union. This track alone elevates Throwback above most of today’s independent Americana releases but Bennett is a startlingly consistent artist; each cut on the album has a purpose, a reason to invest time with.
Bennett strikes a balance between slow jams and exuberant rockers. “Cherry Girl” is perhaps the best example of Bennett’s take on contemporary Nashville pop; brimming with catchy FM hooks and good-natured humor, it reveals that Bennett can be light as well as serious with equal success. “Three Squares” has a big, meaty sound that will rattle arenas. It helps that the production is clean yet sensitive to the dynamics of the song; for example, the bluesy guitar solo in “Unbearable Ache” isn’t smothered in studio gloss.
The various moods conveyed on Throwback create a well-rounded record. Bennett is not a one-dimensional talent; there is substantial variety on this album, which makes it worthy of repeated spins, especially the sweeping infatuation of “Speechless.”