Talented singer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and band member, Jay Bennett, presents us with his final work, Kicking at the Perfumed Air.
This new album (released posthumously by his family after his untimely death in May 2009) is a collection of 11 beautiful, somber, melodic tracks, released according to Bennett’s own production notes and preference. It is a raw and emotionally charged compilation that is endearing even to those who are not familiar with Bennett’s work.
Best known for his contributions in twice Grammy nominated band, Wilco, Bennett has become a respected and well-known musician in his own right. Releasing five albums in total after leaving the band in 2001 as well as contributing to various albums from other artists; he has solidified himself as a musician that is truly worth respecting and listening to.
Those who aren’t fully familiar with Bennett’s work might have trouble connecting with the music he plays. However, the more you listen to his songs, the more it makes sense. Just like creating a relationship, his songs become more meaningful and more important to his listeners the more they spend time with them.
For instance, Mirrorball is peppered with Bennett’s, husky, emotional vocals accompanied by beautiful piano and guitar work. It’s a mellow track that is lined with the artists’s descriptive lyrics. On the other hand, Twice A Year, opens like a dream. Like his other songs, Bennett knows how to trigger a specific feeling, a thought or an emotion. With a couple of meaningful words strung together, the song forms into a masterpiece that embraces and consoles the listener.
It was no secret that the artist was struggling with physical and legal problems before his death and it’s easy to interpret the songs in the album as having more meaning than it seems. Whatever your take is, there is no doubt that it is a compilation that is truly worth its weight in gold. Even though done posthumously, the album still reflects and exudes Bennett’s presence.
Kicking at the Perfumed Air is a truthful and personal album. The album is offered as a free download, but donations are encouraged for The Jay Bennett Foundation. More of the artists’ work is scheduled for release by the foundation in the next months or years.
Feel free to check out Bennett’s other works including his fifth solo effort, Whatever Happened I Apologize. It’s available for free download as well.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.