Ben Mitchell | Chance to Love

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Pop: Folky Pop Blues: Country Blues Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Chance to Love

by Ben Mitchell

A simple, thoughtful and powerfully emotional singer-songwriter who calls to mind Neil Finn, Ben Harper, Jeff Buckley, Ryan Adams, Leonard Cohen, Paul Kelly and Calexico.
Genre: Pop: Folky Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. The Way of This Love
2:44 $0.99
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2. Undone
3:10 $0.99
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3. Mea Culpa
3:45 $0.99
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4. Chance to Love
3:11 $0.99
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5. Good Night Sleep
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6. Beautiful Mess
3:12 $0.99
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7. Gonna Make You Happy
2:52 $0.99
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8. Son of a Gun
3:23 $0.99
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9. See Your Face Again
3:31 $0.99
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10. Begin Forever
3:09 $0.99
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11. The Love of My Life
2:56 $0.99
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12. 1000 Beautiful Things
3:10 $0.99
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13. To Be Touched
2:55 $0.99
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14. Slow Motion
3:07 $0.99
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15. Never Love You Less
3:37 $0.99
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16. I Ain’t Done
3:00 $0.99
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17. That’s the Way It Is
3:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
What’s your music like? It’s a question which often antagonises established artists and infuriates up-start up-and-comers. So how does a relatively unknown but kind of ‘old-hand’ (indy musician Ben Mitchell has written over 200 songs and has released one album & two EPs) respond?

“My music is melodic and heartfelt but with a sense of humor too—I hope. John Lennon grew up playing the blues and ended up doing this kind of acid-country-pop. He had a way with melody and deep, yet playful, lyrics and is probably a songwriter I’ve naturally aligned with. Johnny Cash was an early inspiration too. Maybe ‘Lennon Cash’ would have been a good stage name?”

Since releasing his first independent album (The Stars Can See, 2006, MGM) Ben Mitchell has been compared to many other artists. Various reviewers have sighted Beck, Ben Harper, Ryan Adams, Rufus Wainright, Jeff Buckley and even ‘a swamp-rock version of Nick Cave’. But with so many notable comparisons how come we haven’t heard of him yet?

“I’m pretty prolific as a songwriter—pretty much every week I’ll write a new song or two—but I haven’t been the best promoter of my music. I also like to do lots of different projects, which makes it kind of hard to market me I guess.”

Those other projects Mitchell refers to include two novels (“One of Australia’s finest new writers” JEFF JENKINS), acting in indy film, Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla (2013, Lost Art Films) and hosting the odd wine-tasting party. The later distraction also becoming Mitchell’s day job when he moved to the Yarra Valley, a premium wine-producing region in Victoria, about an hour east of Melbourne.

“When I moved to Healesville I started writing even more than I normally do and I knew I had to get something recorded—there was this new energy to my music. I had a job pouring wine tastings during the days so I took one day off a week for a year to record in my little weatherboard rental studio/home. I think the vibe of the album is very organic—because it was all built round the acoustic guitar I use to write with, and intense—because of the focus recording alone can bring.”

And whomever you compare him too, Mitchell doesn’t seem to mind too much.

“There’s 17 songs on this album and almost as many styles—pop, folk, blues, country, soul and more. If, after listening to it all, someone asks you what I sound like, just burn them a copy of my album and say, ‘Here, you decide.’”

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Chance To Love is the follow up album to Ben Mitchell's debut, The Stars Can See. Of The Stars Can See they said..."Seemingly coming out of nowhere, yet already shortlisted for an APRA PD Award this Melbourne based singer/songwriter lived in London while recording over 100 tracks with Coldplay/Radiohead engineer Jon Bailey, Claire Worrall from Robbie Williams band and other top musicians. Mastered by Number One hit-maker Martin Pullan, THE STARS CAN SEE is 12 'stunning songs' from electric alt-country to lo-fi acoustic-pop and marks the arrival of a shining new talent."

NET RHYTHMS
More about The Stars Can See
November 2006 - CD Review, LONDON
"Next Big Thing"

A certain soft David Gray warble to the voice, a hint of early Van in there too perhaps along with names like Ben Harper, Jeff Buckley and Jack Johnson, Melbourne singer-songwriter Mitchell's getting feted as potential next big thing with this debut album.

It may be a bit early for that, but from the laid back soul flecked opener Go Now (which oddly sounds a bit like a medieval troubadour ballad in places) and the Johnson-like grooves of Your Hold Is Strong and a playful Cool And A Little Silly, it's obvious he has the talent and the ability to make the grade.

Generally upbeat in its musings on life and love, it also shows Mitchell exploring the musical territory. Could Not Love You More posits a meeting point between the Beatles and Radiohead, Everything and Kitty Kat are both bluesy jazz numbers that respectively seem to tip the hat to Beck and Bobby Darin, while Moon Shine offers acoustic folk blues and the irresistible acoustic strummed Photo's a nifty echo of the young James Taylor.

He closes up with the confidently relaxed country soul streaked We Win And We Lose Some, a beguilingly beautiful whole body massage of a song that guarantees we'll be hearing a lot more from the lad in the months ahead.

Mike Davies
NET RHYTHMS

HANX, Netherlands
Ben Mitchell is an Australian singer who lived in London for a while and got into the recording studio when he did. Mitchell is a sensitive man and sensitive men who write songs get compared to Jack Johnson and James Blunt these last few months. These aren't really names the typical Americana fan gets into. It’s funny though that, for example James Blunt, before his big break, in a lot of reviews was compared to Elliot Smith - and a lot of people do get into that. This isn't really the place to go deeper into that, but it does show that alternative fans don’t really like to hear their songs on Sky Radio.

The Stars Can See is still ‘alternative’. Now. No one (Major Label) owns it and on it we hear a singer/songwriter who shows his heart in an honest and sincere way in twelve different songs. Beautiful. Sensitive too. And yes, as a result you can compare it to Blunt and Johnson. And yes, there are songs on the album which can easily be big hits on the radio (and played on Arbeidsvitamine!).

He is an up-to-date singer-songwriter of folk-pop, with a sweet and passionate voice but something more happens here. Mitchell isn't afraid of a big gesture. He never goes over the top yet he knows how to create theatre. At those moments (like in Superseeded or the soulful Everything) he reminds of Rufus Wainwright (or Jeff Buckley or even Antony). Look out for the dark jazzy love sing Kitty Kat. As enigmatic as Jim White can be - it is a striking highlight.

On most of the tracks Mitchell combines the intimacy of Damien Rice with the melody of David Gray. There is a lot to this Australian guy and lot has come out in The Stars Can See. Now it's just waiting for the right people and the big break.

(Written by Patrick Donders)

AMERICANA UK

Melbourne is a city renowned for churning out musicians and its latest son – the unkempt looking Ben Mitchell – looks set to make his mark. After spending a few years in London where he gained some favourable publicity on the live circuit, Mitchell returned to his hometown to record ‘The Stars Can See,’ his debut long-player. As a first foray, it’s a remarkably confident record. Perhaps most surprising is that he has yet to be signed to a major label, but it is unlikely that he will remain homeless for long. Mitchell has a strong voice that adapts well to a number of styles, but it’s his song-writing skills that put him in a league above the litany of anonymous singer-songwriters vying for attention in the wake of the success of David Gray and James Blunt.

Opener ‘Go Now’ is a subdued minor-key ballad reminiscent of obscure Melbourne band Cordrazine but the mood is lightened considerably as Mitchell skips through the breezy ‘Your Hold is Strong.’ Soon, Mitchell sounds as if he’s captured the spirit of Alex Lloyd with ‘I Could Not Love You More,’ where reverb-laden vocals are driven by an ascending 1960’s-style guitar progression. After skipping over a couple of weaker tracks, we find the folky ‘The Stars Can See,’ the sultry ‘Everything’ and hip-cat ‘Kitty Kat’ which sounds like the sassier music used in Twin Peaks. The two closing tunes will appeal to Americana listeners; ‘Extra Mile’ is a sleepy number resplendent with subtle slide playing and woozy acoustic guitar picking reminiscent of Karma County. Yet Mitchell saves his best for last with ‘We Win and We Lose Some,’ a simple but beautiful song that James Blunt would give his eye-teeth to have written.

Kicking off a European tour in September, the singer is beating a well-trodden Antipodean path back to London. Mitchell sounds a major talent on this evidence and is well worth keeping an eye on.

Date review added: Friday, August 04, 2006
Reviewer: Nic Fildes

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