Ripe

Release Date: 
September 4, 2007
Label: 
New West Records
Release Type: 
Album
  1. Love Me Like The World Is Ending
  2. American Television
  3. Birds And Bees
  4. Is This How Love’s Supposed To Feel?
  5. Blush
  6. Numb
  7. What Would Jay-Z Do?
  8. Sex Without Love
  9. Home
  10. Hungry
  11. Just Say Yes
  12. Ripe

Having spent half of his life in the music business, Ben Lee’s quintessential niceness stemming from his Sydney-bred roots has never faded. Call it maturity, but it’s that natural ability to sing from the heart without losing it in the process that makes Lee a true artist. His grasp for the charm of life has never strained, and his mission in crafting meaningful pop music continues on his seventh LP, the very feminine-centric effort The Rebirth of Venus. “It’s a very eventful time in my life,” Lee beams. “I’m married and I just turned 30, so there’s a lot going on. It feels like you make records around a milestone and this certainly feels like one of them for me. I have a lot to talk about and I want to share some of this.” The 13-song set is a celebratory look at female energy. Lee, who married British-born actress Ione Skye -- daughter of ‘60s folk songster Donovan of “Mellow Yellow” fame -- in India in December 2008, relishes in love’s many sides, and is unafraid to embrace femininity’s inimitable influence. Part of that, too, is Lee’s new role as a step-father to Skye’s six-year-old daughter, Kate. Such a personal shift has only enhanced Lee’s professional approach, as echoed on Venus tunes such as “Blue Denim” and “I’m a Woman Too.” The playful synth-tailored “Boy With a Barbie” and the cheeky sweetness of “Yoko Ono” also channel Lee’s tribute to women.

Ben Lee is one of those rare examples of someone who got their start at a young age, and has been able grow and mature with his music, while building a career and sustaining a level of success along the way. Ben came on the scene in his early teens in Sydney, as a member of the punk band Noise Addict. Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore became a champion for the band, and released the group’s demo tape as an EP in the US on his Ecstatic Peace label. The first single, “I Wish I Was Him,” caught the attention of the Beastie Boy’s Mike Diamond. That single followed by the Young And Jaded EP were released via the Beastie Boys’ label, Grand Royal. At 16, Ben Lee recorded his first solo album Grandpa Would in both Sydney and Chicago, with producer and long-time collaborator Brad Wood. Ben continued to split time (and success) between the United States and Australia, as he released his next two albums, Breathing Tornadoes and Hey You. Yes You. In 2005 Ben released Awake Is The New Sleep on New West Records. That album contained the smash hit “Catch My Disease,” which was a hit at radio and to this day still gets TV and advertising placements, including Grey’s Anatomy and a massive Dell Computer ad campaign. Ben released his follow up on New West, Ripe, in September 2007. The album garnered much of the same success in film and TV placement, including a world-wide advertising campaign by Coca-Cola.