Wading through the trials and tribulations of love and heartbreak, Ben Platt’s debut album “Sing To Me Instead” confronts the difficult feelings that a person goes through when he or she cannot decide whether to be with the one they love or to let that part of their life go.
A majority of the album feels as though it is telling a cohesive love story that has gone through countless hardships, but has also seen its fair share of love and commitment. The song “Bad Habit” explores these ideas to open the album, as Platt sings about his days of feeling alone and how he felt the most comfortable with his former love. He asks if they would be willing to provide the sense of comfort he’s searching for by asking “Can you help me out / Can I lean on you?” He acknowledges that this is a bad idea in the line before, but it comes off as that he doesn’t know where else to go because he has so much trust in that person.
The song that follows is “Ease My Mind” and acts as though it is coupled with “Bad Habit” because it has the same overarching theme of finding the one whom they find comfort in, but “Ease My Mind” addresses insecurities of the singer, who is willing to accept the fact that someone they no longer have in their life is the one who makes them happiest. When comparing the two songs, I enjoyed the lyrics and tone to “Bad Habit” because it felt more raw and fits in with the vibe that the album gives off, being vulnerable.
Musically, each song fits the perspective that it is telling. “Bad Habit” felt dense, with lower notes in the piano, and as the music swells, it gives off the inner turmoil that Platt portrays as he wants to confess how much he wants this one person to be in his life again, but cannot quite say it. “Ease My Mind” has more delicate notes and Platt’s vocals are more relaxed; he has seemed to finally lift this weight off his shoulders and confess the love he desires.
Platt’s vocals and use of simple instrumentation allow the lyrics to shine and keeps focus on the story that is trying to be conveyed in each song. For me, being able to understand each lyric and not having them drowned out by the music was nice, because nowadays artists focus on cranking up the bass and let lyrics just sit on the back-burner. Platt also incorporates gospel as background vocals on a few tracks and are accompanied by piano or acoustic guitar, which further stresses his emphasis on vocal talent.
However, the topics of the songs are fairly repetitive and the only differences between each are shifted perspectives of the same issue. Each song is well-written, but all on the same album, each song is not done justice when the same subject matter is repeated over and over again.
“Sing To Me Instead” is a beautifully composed album that honestly stands out from what is popular within the music scene. I loved the soft melodies of each song and it was a calm vibe that kept my interest with its lyrical content. While it was prone to repetitive themes, the songs differed enough musically that it didn’t take away from the album’s content. “Sing To Me Instead” has a refreshing sound worth listening to because it shares such raw emotion and can be enjoyable as a relaxed solo listening session to appreciate the content.