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REVIEW: Benjamin Ingrosso – Identification

Last Friday, Benjamin Ingrosso dropped his debut album Identification after over a year in the making.  The 21 year old has co-written all 12 tracks on the release, promising to give us an insight into the many aspects of himself through each song.

The album begins with new single Behave which features a fantastic transition in style, channeling both mainstream pop & R&B.  The production in this is exceptional and a great starting point which succeeds in reeling us in further.

I Wouldn’t Know follows and is the feel-good track that Ingrosso used as a tease for what was to come.  It’s a delightful slice of summer wrapped in a perfect melody.   This is followed by dreamy heartbreak ballad I’ll Be Fine Somehow which tones things down production wise. The song allows Benjamin’s vocals to come across elegantly, with a nice touch of reverb in places.

Identification crosses multiple styles with So Good so Fine When You’re Messing With My Mind serving as the album’s signature club banger. With another first-class dose of production and good use of a censor, it’s the saucy track we were craving.  In similar fashion, All I See Is You gives off a fantastic funky trance vibe – the perfect pre-party soundtrack to a Friday night.

R&B lovers should enjoy the smooth paced sound of both Spotlights & Good Intentions. As a matter of opinion however, in comparison to the more uplifting songs on the album, they do appear to come across notably weaker. 

Several intimate ballads are also present and are a welcome contrast to the album’s upbeat side.  If This Bed Could Talk is the warm cozy hug that you never knew you needed until hearing. The song carries itself beautifully with Benjamin’s vocals excelling once more.

Dance You Off is the penultimate track and known by most as the winning song of this year’s Melodifestivalen. With his victory, the song became Sweden’s entry at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Its noticable how this song pretty much serves as the birth of Benjamin’s sound and Identification as a whole, when hearing it follow the album’s other tracks.

Happiness is the album’s ending point and is an acoustic, stripped back number.  Although this comes across as if it were recorded in an empty school hall, it has a raw authentic sound that I certainly can appreciate. 

Highlights:

  • I’ll Be Fine Somehow – In my eyes the standout song on the album. It’s gradual pace and subtle tone make it very easy to listen to.  Benjamin’s vocals also really shine here.
  • All I See Is You – As someone who appreciates trance music, this ticks all the right boxes and would definitely have me on the dancefloor.  

What did they say?  Identification reviewed by fellow ESCXTRA team members

As well as myself, a few other editors in the ESCXTRA team gave the album a whirl.  Here is what they thought of Benjamin’s debut.


Nathan

On Identification, Benjamin Ingrosso experiments with a few different musical ideas mostly across the one sound – soul driven pop. Whereas the album opens with Behave, an R&B inspired piece that wouldn’t be a world away from a Justin Timberlake record, and I’ll Be Fine Somehow, something ZAYN could have put his own spin on, the album progresses towards his most impressive and consistent sound – dance and soul infused pop – with tracks like So Good So Fine When You’re Messing with My Mind, All I See Is You and Good Intentions.

For fans of Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and ZAYN, Ingrosso’s début effort will be within easy reach – especially with tracks like No Sleep – but for fans of his more electronic and dance driven sound, Identification will feel like a case of mistaken identity. Having said that, the album isn’t bad; far from it, actually. Identification is well produced and wonderfully polished. First albums are always tricky when you have a large back-catalogue of singles and a lot of expectation riding upon it. For Ingrosso, his voice impresses best on slower tracks like “If This Bed Could Talk” and his sound works most consistently on the upbeat dance powered anthems like All I See Is You but he chooses to prioritise the R&B and soul inspired tracks which feel a little like leftovers from world-renowned artists rather than trendsetting by himself.

Highlights:

  • So Good So Fine When You’re Messing with My Mind – by far the best track on the album and the sound Ingrosso should steer himself towards.
  • All I See Is You – painting a picture of an iconic party isn’t easy without falling into every cliché but Ingrosso achieves it with this clever, but desperately short, track including a smart post-chorus lyric where he rhymes champagne with cocaine.

Tim Jumawan

I am loving Benjamin’s debut album. You can really tell how much effort he has put in to writing and producing the tracks and this translates very well to the finished product itself.

I am very happy with the end result.  Others I am loving include “I Wouldn’t Know” as its very much a summer bop. Just really gutted I can’t see him on tour as I really want to see them performed live! 

Highlights:

  • Dance You Off – The minute that song hit the Melfest stage, it was obvious he was going to win it.
  • Happiness – Even though less than two minutes long, the lyrics really connected well with me and it gave off a melancholic feeling
  • Spotlights – This is another highlight for me as Benjamin describes how his family is supportive and always keep him grounded, which is important in the industry..

Final Thoughts

Overall team score - 7

7

Benjamin Ingrosso shows he's not a one trick pony in his debut album 'Identification'. With the album crossing multiple genres, no doubt appealing to a wide audience, the future looks promising for Sweden's 2018 representative. Identification' is out worldwide now.

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User Rating: 3.52 ( 14 votes)
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