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Reviewed by Amanda Mills

Damien Binder: A New World

Reviewed by Amanda Mills

Damien Binder: A New World

Singer/songwriter Damien Binder left Auckland for Sydney before the release of his third album, 2009’s ‘While the Wind’s At Your Back’. This latest offering was recorded on both sides of the Tasman, including contributions from musical collaborators Wayne Bell, Kylie Whitney, David Hatt, and co-producers Bob Shepheard and Michael Carpenter. Binder has had an accomplished career as a musician (including supporting touring artists such as David Gray and Ani DiFranco), and crafts his music well, drawing exemplary additions from all involved. However ‘A New World’ seems rather mis-named, it feels more like ‘more-of-the-same’, aiming to be easy on the ear and safe rather than taking risks or innovating his established musical routine in any way. Binder’s oft-referenced vocal and stylistic influences of Ryan Adams and Neil Finn come through in his gentle alt-pop / alt-country tinged melodies, and reflective lyrics which wash over the listener, but in that combination don’t impact a lot. It is an album that’s well-written and considered, fine music from an accomplished artist, but ‘A New World’ is all-round too measured and controlled. A degree of getting out of his comfort zone to show a new side of his creativity would seem appropriate next time around.