The Rebirth Of Venus

Release Date: 
March 23, 2009
New West Records
Release Type: 
  1. What's So Bad (About Feeling Good)?
  2. Surrender
  3. Sing
  4. I Love Pop Music
  5. Rise Up
  6. Yoko Ono
  7. Boy With A Barbie
  8. Bad Poetry
  9. Blue Denim
  10. Wake Up America
  11. I'm A Woman Too
  12. Families Cheating At Board Games
  13. Song For The Divine Mother Of The Universe

An internationally acclaimed song ("Catch My Disease") that made the playlist for both a hit television drama and computer advertisement did nothing to alter Australia's Ben Lee. He remains youthful (still, at age 28), eminently fruitful (this marks his seventh album), and capable of surrendering addictive after captivating song (see "Love Me Like the World Is Ending," "Just Say Yes," and a half-dozen others on this 12-song set). Not surprisingly, Ripe rides a similar vibe to 2005's Awake Is the New Sleep: quick-and-dirty pop melodies polished with chiming guitars, piano fills, and Lee's exuberant, boyish vocals. Love and affection provide a common thread, blatantly exposing themselves on the interrogatory "Is This How Love's Supposed to Feel" and "Just Say Yes," where Lee asks, "If this is right, then why resist?" while purely insinuating infatuation on both "Blush" and "Numb." The indie veteran's camaraderie pays off on "Sex Without Love," where Good Charlotte's Benji Madden joins him on a chorus dangerously Def Leppardish and the Greaselike "Birds and Bees," with pop diva Mandy Moore playing Olivia Newton-John to Lee's John Travolta. The latter plays hokey for one or two listens before dissolving into the record's delightful sequence.