LIANG YING ropes in ardent Alec Benjamin fan YURIKO to see if Oh My God, Benjamin’s latest drop, was what long-time fans of his music had been expecting.
It was not.
But it was a truly magical experience of listening that definitely ended in the most pleasant of “OMG, I have to listen to this fifty times over.”
#MusicTalk with teamCARPE
I shall begin this review by confessing something: I’ve never really heard Alec Benjamin before. Other than knowing the twenty-five-year-old has an extremely gentle, mesmerising voice, I rarely listened to him (Yes, I know, what have I been doing?). In this review, my friend – a huge fan of him – and I had the opportunity to listen and review his new track, Oh My God, which is to be put on his debut album, These Two Windows. After hours of listening to him serenading, I am grateful for this chance to review his new song, because, Oh My God (pun intended), I cannot believe it took me this long to appreciate him.
Alec Benjamin’s songs have been lauded for being universally relatable – whether it’s about the unconditional support shown by your close ones (Demons) or struggling to cope mentally (Mind Is A Prison), he just simply knows, and we listeners are never more thankful for him to sing our worries, regrets, and our unspoken thoughts out. With this new single, Alec sings about the deeper and more sombre aspect of reflecting upon one’s life and regretting the choices that they had made. “(The) lyrics are very personal,” he wrote on his Instagram post. “Excited to share this song with you but also nervous at the same time.”
The lyrics in Oh My God does not fail to pack a punch of emotions. The chorus, “Oh my god, I can’t remember/ Who I was just last December/ What have I done, how did I get here?” reflect feelings of loss, confusion, and shock as we look back and realise how much we have changed and how we will “never be the same again”. The awareness of time passing quickly is striking in the lyrics as his other songs do not usually talk about this; it stresses the subconscious changes taking place that we fail to pay attention to.
Another stanza that touches me is this: “Maybe I was foolish, I guess I was naive/ I didn’t know what I had, and I thought I had to leave/ I wish that I was homeward bound/…I’m searching for a signal, holding out my phone/ Have I gone too far, am I on my own?/ No one here to hold me now.” The lyrics convey the image of a youthful person moving out to chase his ambitions, only to regret because he had lost many things that hold close to his heart.
Finally, the exhaustion creeps in, “I’m running out of oxygen/ Can’t help but wish I’d stayed/ I’m lost just like Will Robinson/ A rocket man in space”. Here, he makes reference to Will Robinson from TV show Lost In Space to underline his helplessness.
Another point worth to be mentioned is the way electronic seeps into the melody, but is kept in the background — “an electronically-tinged rousing chorus”, as Billboard says in their article – especially at the chorus where he sings the very words “Oh my God”. This peculiar effect sets the track distinctly apart from his other songs which are typically backed up by acoustics.
There is no doubt that the song is an emotional one about regrets and questioning the path we’ve taken. Once again, Alec has demonstrated his talent of expressing and carefully crafting his thoughts into music, and we just can’t get enough. OMG, we can only wait impatiently for his next song to come out!