WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM FROM BEN STUBBS – LIGHT OF MY LIFE
Latest album release from Ben Stubbs “Light of My Life” displays the Isle of Wight solo artist’s most impressive work to date, with its glowing acoustic warmth guiding the listener out of the dark.
Showcasing the best of the folk-rock genre, the music of Ben Stubbs has the comforting and homely atmosphere that you’d hear in an old, local pub in the countryside. Thus, it is no surprise that Stubbs musical background began with him performing in bars and restaurants whilst living in France. Working with professional, London based mixer Tim Debney the result is a record that is both authentically stylised and polished.
The record begins by defining its acoustic-folk sound as well its themes of growing older with the track “Stop The World”. Cosy and domestic sounding with layered and steady acoustic guitar rhythms the song lyrically suggests a longing for peace and a break from the overwhelming nature of life. Nostalgia is a prominent theme within “Light of My Life”, whether for a past world in the humorous number “Social Media State” or a past state of mind in the more sombre folk-ballad “Driving in the Dark”. However, instead of dwelling on memories Stubbs encourages the listener to look towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
There is an unmissable warmth that projects from “Light of My Life”, akin to the feeling of watching the soft glow of candlelight filling a room. The tenderness of tracks such as the poetic love-song title track or the second song on the album “Live and Let Live” encourage kindness and community between people. Something refreshing and much underlooked in an age of individualism. But Stubbs’ latest record is a celebration of togetherness.
Despite the comfort and calm of “Light of My Life”, the album is by no means repetitive. The track “Perpetual War” comes in as a surprising yet welcome upbeat turn in the record. Still sticking to his roots and distinguishable style, Stubbs explores themes of conflict whilst urging for peace. The more pop-ballad influenced “Cocoon” features mesmerising female vocals as an unexpected but magical touch.
The final two tracks on Stubbs’ latest record are a reassuring hand in navigating the uncertainty of life. “Your Life is Ok” is a gentle and slowly unfolding melody that details the beauty in existence despite the negatives. Ending on the most delicate track on the album, “Forgetting Paradise” is a simplistic and intimate acoustic piece, assuring the listener that “you don’t have to know where you’re going” and finishing the album with hope and optimism for the future. Ending with a slow burn rather than an explosion is the perfect final chapter in Ben Stubbs wise and insightful musical journey that is “Light of My Life”.