No Guilt, All Pleasure

Since Ben Lee is prone to performing such wonderful acts as caressing my shoulder and curing cancer, it's no surprise that he's generously allowed for his new album, The Rebirth of Venus, to be streamed in its entirety from now until its official release this Tuesday, April 28, 2009. Go to his MySpace page to access the 13 tracks, and see why I have been listening to it repeatedly.

If 2005's Awake Is the New Sleep (one of my favorite albums of all time) was about introspection and spiritual inquiry and 2007's Ripe was about joy and reckless abandon, then The Rebirth of Venus treads thematic middle ground, aiming for emotional uplift and delivering that in abundance. "Surrender" and "I Love Pop Music" are perfect examples of what I'm talking about, as is the album's lead track, "What's So Bad (About Feeling Good)." If the latter song doesn't inspire at least a smile, then you are probably dead and are a ghost and are walking among the living. If you're like me, you'll want to alternate between pumping your fist, shaking your booty, or singing along with no regard for the downstairs neighbors. Watch this terrific live performance:

Ben kicks off his U.S. tour on Wednesday, and I am so going (again for the fifth time!), and perhaps he'll caress my shoulder once more, despite the fact that he recently married Ione Skye, she of Say Anything fame, in a Hindu wedding in India?

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