The Baton Rouge-based duo Benjy Davis Project’s fourth album, “Lost Souls Like Us” features personal lyrics and lush instrumentation, bringing the mandolin, slide guitar, piano and organ into the typical rock mix.
The album is made to fit the shuffle habits of iPod users, but as a result it does not hold together as a cohesive unit.
Davis’ smooth smoky voice carries the album through a mix of rock, folk and indie-pop with just enough southern flare so even those who readily shun country music will not be turned off. Each song is a story in and of itself with relationships being a prevalent theme.
The album has some weak tracks but there are many worth listening to.
The opening track, “Mississippi,” is an upbeat ode to the state neighboring the duo’s home state of Louisiana. The next track “Get High” is a jaunty tune about taking life slow and hanging out with friends, with a catchy chorus that will be sure to have you signing along.
On “Stay With Me,” the album’s feature single, Davis’ dark timbre voice contrasts with bright mandolins, in a melancholy song about holding on to a fading relationship.
Another standout track is “Slow Wind.” The blend of piano, acoustic guitar and slide guitar create a charming backdrop for Davis’ nostalgic reflection on childhood and the passing of time. The lyrics of “Check Your Pockets” are the highlight of the song, as Davis sings about rediscovering old memories and running into a childhood crush.
Fans of John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Sister Hazel will probably enjoy this album. While some songs on “Lost Souls Like Us” will be easily forgotten, there are others that are definite gems.
“Lost Souls Like Us”
Rating: ¾ stars
Released: March 2
Label: Rock Ridge Music
Produced by: Bobby Capps and Jason Spiewak