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Ben Moody – “All For This” (2009) June 29, 2009

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2009, Ben Moody.
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Written by Andrew Hart

Ben Moody.  The name is no doubt familiar to those of us acquainted with the saga of Evanescence and their super-successful album Fallen. Moody was the guitarist and one of the main writers of the band at that time, and is often attributed to much of the band’s success.  His strength as a songwriter could have always been disputed of course, since he shared those credentials with a one Amy Lee.  Now however, Moody attempts to establish himself as a strong solo act with his self-sufficient debut All For This, ironically released shortly before he joined another band (but that’s another story for another time).

First things first, this is not the male version of Evanescence, or really anything close.  All For This is instead exactly what one could expect from a man who’s last name is Moody.  It’s a downtrodden, emotional affair with plenty of depressing moments to bring even the cheeriest of man down.  There’s a lot of angst and passion in Moody’s words, which are as strong as they’ve ever been.  The opening track “Perfect” is just about what it claims as well, opening with a bit of bongo and piano action and swinging you right into Moody’s world.  He’s not the best singer in the world, nor is he the greatest player of any instrument, but Moody is a crafter of emotion, as is evidenced by the strange power emanating from the line “I’m not guilty just convicted, more than you I love my living hell.”  “Perfect” is an astonishingly good song that serves as the ideal intro to the disc.

The strongest points of the album are all packed in with that opener as well.  “The Way We Are” is very similar in tone to most atypical rock ballads but it again shines thanks to Moody’s great lyrics.  The track also has a very uplifting sound to it’s chorus to differentiate it from the precursor track, allowing you to easily notice the song shift despite similar themes.  “Hold Me Down” follows up with a very chilling intro sound that pulls you right in, and then hits you with a brooding and dark verse.  The best is yet to come though, and it’s name is “10.22.”  Why it goes by this moniker is unknown to me, but try not to get whipped into the pure tragic words of this song.  The sound is pure bone-chilling emotion, and Moody’s angsty voice perfectly executes the chorus which begs “Tell me again your fucked up excuses, dying fighting a life of abuse, when fame is your game you say I’m to blame, but you know.”  Words don’t do it justice, you must listen to this song.

The standouts stop there however, and maybe that’s where Moody’s biggest flaw is.  After his one trick becomes obvious, he’s sorely lacking elsewhere.  I credit him greatly for his expert use of the bongo drums, pianos, and other unconventional rock instruments, but his limited ability to shift tempo and sing diversely is ultimately his downfall.  Many of the tracks will still pull you in with the heavy emotions and strong song-writing, but it’s amazing how old the album gets once you’ve been through it once or twice.  The musical quality is high, but the tracks lack a lot of replay value, outside of the chosen few such as “Perfect” and “10.22.”

Fans of Moody’s previous work may not be thrilled with his debut solo effort.  It’s dark, it’s angry, it’s depressing, and yet it remains oddly soothing.  Despite few standout moments, Moody’s work is a great chill-out disc that’ll really stick some ambience wherever necessary.  Still, it’s not very hard rocking at any moment in time, and will bore those looking for a good hook.  Those with patience and the ability to listen closely will find a lot of interesting stuff on All For This and will be rewarded with a pretty solid disc.  It’s not revolutionary, it’s not perfect, but it’s damn enjoyable for a few good listens, especially if you’re feeling a little angsty yourself.

7.5 out of 10 – Download “10.22”

Ben Moody is | Ben Moody – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drum, Piano | Hana Pestle – Backing Vocals

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Comments»

1. K-God - June 29, 2009

gooooooooood review.

2. A Fan - July 1, 2009

10.22 – Ben left Evanescence October 22, 2003.

3. rawkfistmusic - July 1, 2009

And I thank you for that information 🙂


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