Ben Lee: Sandy Nicholson/Headpress/Retna
Timothy Gunatilaka
February 14, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Awake Is the New Sleep

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Ben Lee
Producers
New West
We gave it a B

Best known in the States as Claire Danes’ ex, the Aussie equivalent of Conor Oberst glides through his fifth full-length Awake is the New Sleep with a winsome whisper that befits quaint melodies sparely adorned with guitar strums and piano. While Ben Lee’s lovesick lyrics often sound more mawkish than confessional, gentle pop gems like the lo-fi toe tapper ”Begin” and the elegant geometry-themed breakup song ”No Right Angles” reveal the once wunderkind coming into his own on this pleasant Sunday drive of an album.

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