“Senses” by Ben Kelly is quite the unique R&B track. Not only are his melodies soulful, his chord choices smooth, and his vocals sultry, but his production isn’t necessarily what you’d expect from the classic neo-soul tune. Bit-crushed synth lines carry many of the instrumental motifs, giving the song a tinge of experimental, lo-fi goodness. Not to mention, the guitar work just oozes relaxation. If you’re into R&B and might be down to try something a little off-kilter, you couldn’t do better than “Senses.”
We’re welcomed into the track by the electric guitar, strumming through a mellifluous riff with effortless technique. Almost immediately, an electronic drum groove slides into place. Ben rolls through some delightful runs just before the entrance of the verse: “I’ve come to my senses / I wasn’t thinking clear / You’re the one who matters / I need to have you near.” The emotional gravity comes across with a tinge of adoration and a tinge of angst (often a cathartic combination). As we approach the hook, the melody takes on a rhythmic, repetitive arc. Allowing the vocals to take the brunt of the rhythmic integrity can have an incredibly catchy, memorable, and satisfying effect. This is no different. The dynamic shape may be rather subtle, but every little change in texture really keeps this track interesting.
Be sure to give Ben Kelly a listen! You’ll be so happy you did. “Senses” will either calm your nerves or send you into a bit of reflection. Regardless, Ben Kelly’s musicality shines through every moment of this song.
Written by Alyce Lindberg
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