You may not yet be familiar with the name Ohad Benchetrit. Or maybe it rings a few bells as a member of Do Make Say Think or Broken Social Scene. The truth is that for years now, Benchetrit has been playing all sorts of instruments, helping shape the sound of many of the well known bands in the Canadian indie music scene. It then seems appropriate that since it has taken years for Benchetrit to come into his own, on his debut solo LP he shall dub himself exactly that - Years.
This self titled effort from the talented multi-instrumentalist can be called an instrumental album. Even if there is a song on it with some vocals, the overall feel of the album is certainly instrumental. "Kids Toy Love Affair", the album's opening track, is a good indication of what is to come. The song builds slowly from simple guitar and what sounds like flute, until it becomes what can only be described as a pulsating wall of sound; blaring horns leading the way into the rest of the album.
On Years, Benchetrit shows that he is not only a master of production, but can also wield an instrument or two with ease, combining studio trickery with down-right instrumental skill. On "Don't Let The Blind Go Deaf", the album's second track, this musical versatility becomes quite obvious. The song, which is composed completely on guitar, is quite different than the album's opening track, having in common only the strong emotions that the songs evoke.
He isn't completely alone on the record, as Milos Popovic provides some accordion on the melancholy "September 5. October 21. 2007.", making the song reminiscent of a Yann Tiersen scored film. And on "A Thousand Times a Day (Someone is Flying)", Do Make Say Think's Justin Small hops aboard, providing a spattering of vocals to the uplifting orchestral soundscape.
In the end, Years is an album not as lengthy as the title would suggest, clocking it at just over 30 minutes. Yet Years seem to have songs for every season, and perhaps even every moment. It's always a positive when you can find an album that seems perfect for nothing more than living your life to. Years is that album.