eMusic Review 0
An indie-pop star since his teen days, Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee turned 30 the year Ripe was released, and his age has got him feeling reflective. “American Television,” the album's catchiest tune, finds him reminiscing about “back in the day when I was a teenager,” and how an old flame “looked beautiful in 1992.” Elsewhere, he shows a continuing maturity as a tunesmith, if perhaps more in the sharpened nature of his arrangements than in his songs 'subject-matter. “What Would Jay-Z Do,” an ode to the rapper, is too dated to wear well, while “Numb” gets too musician-centric in its references to Lee's own career. He fares better when addressing more universal matters: The immediately-appealing leadoff track “Love Me Like The World Is Ending” ranks with Lee's best work, while “Blush” is more cagey and beguiling in its romantic explorations. The closing title track strips everything down to minimal acoustic strums, a nice touch.