Benji Hughes, 'A Love Extreme' (New West)

6
A Love Extreme
Critical Mass
Label: New West

by Jon Young

A shaggily charming Los Angeles–via–North Carolina troubadour, Hughes mixes the handmade, slightly askew vibe of early Beck with observational gifts that echo Fountains of Wayne. His murmuring voice brings a believable everydude quality to witty tales of landlord troubles ("Neighbor Down the Hall") and great evenings out("I Went With Some Friends to See the Flaming Lips"), but above all he's a love junkie.Between the peppy leering pop of "Tight Tee Shirt" and the sweet piano ballad "So Much Better," Hughes eloquently celebrates the heart's myriad desires.

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