Ben Montague – Back Into Paradise
Singer, songwriter and entrepreneur Ben Montague has put his work as co-owner of a custom guitar-making company to one side to release his fourth album, Back Into Paradise, a collection of songs straight from the James Morrison, Gary Barlow and other bland British artist’s book of middle-of-the-road songwriting.
Armed with an acoustic guitar and a slight rasp, Montague’s songs are generally pleasing and can sometimes take some interesting turns, but more often than not, such as on the bombastic outro of opener Back Into Paradise and vanilla rock of The Meaning, they are misled.
Granted, there’s nothing necessarily wrong or offensive about Montague’s songs; he’s a more than competent songwriter and songs like the pacey Looking For Love and the atmospheric Another Chance are invariably catchy. It just feels like this is another good looking chap with a quiff and an acoustic guitar cashing in on the fickleness of reality TV viewers and stay at home mothers. The first line of the album alone – ‘So another love is coming to an end/ seems like my heart is always on the mend’ – is enough to make me want to put my head in the oven.
Nine interchangeable self-written songs and an incongruous cover of Foo Fighter’s Best Of You later and Ben Montague has created one of the biggest shrugs of shoulders that music has to offer