These Two Windows (Album Review)

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Album Overview

Alec Benjamin’s storytelling abilities should be envied, period. I really liked Narrated For You and it’s clear a lot of work has gone into These Two Windows. I will say that a lot of my favourite tracks were released as singles, but also Must Have Been the Wind and Match in the Rain. Certain songs just have that emotional tug (see his demo Lock me up for life) and that’s what makes them special and unrivaled.

Track by Track

Mind Is a Prison

Well I was just talking about the emotional tug, wasn’t I? Mind Is a Prison absolutely has that feeling. It’s a beautiful concept for a song and well written.

Demons

Alec Benjamin himself said this isn’t his favourite song on the album, and I’m going to have to agree with that. I liked it when it first came out but it got old fast? I feel like it’s a bit of a generic ‘woe is me’ song.

Oh My God

Another song I really liked when it first came out but that I got a bit tired of from over listening. The harmonies on this song are sublime though, and I love the chorus.

The Book of You & I

This song is really sweet. It gets a bit repetitive in my opinion, especially if listening on repeat, but if you’re just there to follow the story it’s a great one. It really gets you, especially the first few listens. The bridge is probably one of my favourite parts.

Match in the Rain

As the first track I hadn’t already heard as a single, I had certain expectations of it and I feel like they were met. I was initially a bit skeptical of the bridge section but it’s definitely grown on me. And I love the metaphor that the song’s based off. It’s clearly got a different vibe from the songs that precede it in this album.

Jesus in LA

I’m pretty sure this was released last year? A bit before I truly discovered Alec Benjamin, so I might’ve listened to it a time or two then but really the album release can be considered my first proper listen. If you want to understand the song, I refer you to the Editors’ Notes on Apple Music. As a general summary: “[In] Western culture, Jesus is synonymous with salvation, so it’s the idea that you won’t find what you’re looking for in Los Angeles”. Jesus in LA reminds me of Narrated For You more than anything. I like the concept, but the song itself is pretty average to me.

I’m Not a Cynic

This song definitely makes me think of all the typical Alec Benjamin sounds. I don’t especially love it, but it’s an alright song. A strong and valid message delivered in his signature style.

Alamo

I love it when Alec Benjamin’s songs have that historical element, and the song on this album that really encompasses that vibe is Alamo. I confess I know little about the history in this regard but it reminds me of Water Fountain and Death of a Hero from Narrated For You? It’s a song I feel like I can dance to. It’s another song where I’m a bit dubious about the bridge, but I haven’t listened to it enough to have a strong opinion about it.

Must Have Been the Wind

Apple Music is telling me this was released as a single in 2019 but I swear I never heard it until the album release so ?? The story in this song is super compelling and a little sad, I really felt the emotion in the lyrics though not necessarily the vocal delivery. There’s a sad vibe from the beginning, and I can absolutely picture this as a stunning piano ballad but the way it’s played on guitar works really well too. When I first heard it I thought a lot about the way the lyrics of the verses are cleverly set up so they lead to the chorus. Apparently there’s something with Alec Benjamin’s bridges that I like a bit less than the rest of the songs but hey.

Just Like You

This is such a good closing song? And once more I love the guitar intro. Yes, I’m super biased, but the piano in the chorus is awesome. And the electric (?) guitar line at the end of the chorus! In terms of song subject, I feel like we definitely need more songs like this. They’re two songs with completely different vibes from this, but the song makes me think about Demi Lovato’s Father and Sasha Sloan’s Older.

Song Tiers

okay tier: demons, the book of you & I, jesus in la

good tier: oh my god, match in the rain, I’m not a cynic, alamo, just like you

emotional genius tier: mind is a prison, must have been the wind

Do you like storytelling style songs? Have you listened to any Alec Benjamin songs?

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