Donny BenÃ©t – Electric Love
Donny BenÃ©t’s second album in two years, Electric Love, represents a continuation of the Sydney artist’s uncompromising Italo-funk odyssey, featuring meditations on love, heat and winning. Like kindred spirit Geoffrey O’Connor, BenÃ©t has a knack for time-capsule synth-pop arrangements – think slap-bass, tinny drum-machines and panoramic synths – and a voice that’s more a whisper than a croon.
But unlike O’Connor, BenÃ©t turns the kitsch factor up to 11 wherever possible, dropping sax solos and motivational spoken-word interludes into every available sonic fissure. Though good for a laugh, such moments tend to detract from BenÃ©t’s unquestionable pop nous: When there’s a choice between a punchline and playing it straight, he’ll always opt for the former. Having said that, only a proper bastard could listen to ‘Win All The Time’s unhinged keytar solo without so much as cracking a smile.