Eurovision has changed and morphed over the years. From classic beginnings to trashy camp pop in the early 2000s, it has seen it all.
It makes sense then that a young singer can make a legitimate start there with its huge audience from around Europe and the world.
This year, as part of said competition, we saw some great modern music from Benjamin Ingrosso.
Now armed his debut album ‘Identification’, it’s time to see if he’s put his money where his mouth is.
His entry for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest was ‘Dance You Off’. Written with one of my favourite writers Louis Schoorl (Jessica Mauboy), it was an infectious tune with sparse production and great staging.
Thankfully, this album meets the quality of that song and then some.
A mix of styles, topics and tempos, ‘Identification’ is a greatest hits of everything Benjamin has been influenced by as a musician.
The songs that stand out for me come in the first half of this album.
Album opener ‘Behave’ is a subtle pop number with a familiar name appearing on the writing credits. auspOp favourite Erik Hassle lends a hand and it’s a much appreciated contribution. This is a great start and feels very fresh.
‘I Wouldn’t Know’ has a great summer vibe to it. Yes it has subtle hints of the dreaded tropical house sound, but it works so well here. It’s been stuck in my head since its release as a single earlier this year and is still a favourite hearing it among the rest of the songs.
The highlight for me though comes just three songs in. ‘I’ll Be Fine Somehow’ is a straight up heartbreak ballad and I love it. The Swedes know how to do sad-pop well and this is a fine example.
I was driving to work the other day and listened to it about five times in a row because I didn’t want it to end. The chorus is definitely not sung enough times!
From this point on, the quality remains very high. We get to hear about flirting, growing up in the spotlight and the hard work he’s putting in to achieve his dreams.
I’ve had a hard time listening to much else than this album simply for its authenticity, production quality and Benjamin’s ability to tell a story.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… a debut album can be difficult to get right.
But Benjamin Ingrosso has done a fabulous job curating a body of work that tells his audience a lot about who he is and delivers some cracking pop tunes.
He’s not local and never likely to tour here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy great music and show him a bit of love from afar.
VERDICT : 4/5.
MUST LISTEN : I Wouldn’t Know, I’ll Be Fine Somehow, So Good So Fine When You’re Messing With My Mind.