With his first album for !K7, Benjamin Diamond, whose voice once made the worldwide Stardust mega-hit "Music Sounds Better With You", confirms that music in 2005 will in fact sound much better – with him.
After the huge success of the "Stardust" track, which finally and globally made the much-vaunted new musical style French Touch (Motorbass, Daft Punk, Air) charts-worthy – and thereby if not closing the door for most of its protagonists, definitely made it squeak apprehensively -, Diamond recorded his debut album "Strange Attitude" for Epic / Sony which appeared in 2000. Since then, Benjamin Diamond has concentrated on the development of his label, "Diamond Traxx", and acted as guest vocalist (Octet, Cosmo Vitelli) or remixer (for various releases on Kompakt) on a variety of releases. But it’s not just the truffle pig of a label, "Diamond Traxx", that he co-runs and which has uncovered some fantastic stuff on two incredibly good compilations ("Dirty Diamonds" Vol. 1 and 2), that is keeping him busy. Rather it is the dive course into his musical self, above all, that the young man has more than brilliantly mastered with "Out Of Myself".
To be labeled a "House musician" is definitely pass√© nowadays. Instead, we’re treated to a beautiful, heart-warming singer-songwriter-record, in which you can sense Diamond’s love for artists like Prince, Bob Dylan, Ray Davies from The Kinks, Arthur Lee from Love, Paul Weller und New Order in uptempo rock hymns, tracks with fine orchestrations, and melancholic reduced Folk-Pop.
Benjamin Diamond has worked on his current album for two years, he composed all the tracks himself and oversaw all studio sessions. A couple of famous friends helped him throughout the process: Curtis co-composed "Lights In The Sky", Cosmo Vitelli arranged "These Emotions", Benjamin Morando (member of Octet) brought colour to the arrangements with his electronic copy-paste additions, and Julien Delfaud, whose artistry has already helped Air, Pet Shop Boys and Phoenix to achieve that crucial trace of feel-good sound to provide majority appeal, performed the mixing. Other noteworthy contributors include the Scottish drummer Marc Kerr (Mellow, Les Rita Mitsouko, Pierre Bondu, etc.) and the bass player Lionel Rault (Flairs, Ben Symphonic Orchestra). Lionel will, by the way, also be part of Benjamin Diamond’s live band, consisting of bass, guitar, drums, keyboards, and Benjamin on mic of course.
The 11 fabulous pearls of pop that Monsieur Diamond has brought to the surface are all so good that it’s hard to emphasize any individual track or not to earmark each track as a single. It’s all so good, be it the incredibly light-footed, oscillating "Let’s Get High", the pleading-fascinating- empathetic "I Wish" or accomplished rockers like the opener, "Mr. Fate", which opens with, "Hey Mr. Fate, take me down your way and show me some places I’ve never been…".
It is precisely such a place to which an album like "Out Of Myself" takes us. In fact, no pop record has been so simultaneously brilliant, simple, wily and effortlessly thrown together. Not for ages. In clear contrast to the coziness of his colleagues Air, for example, which occasionally drifts into the phlegmatic, Diamond is capable of astonishing anew, and refreshingly so, with each track without sounding contrived. "Out Of Myself" doesn’t re-invent the wheel of pop music, but it fits it with a shiny new tire inflated with fantastic songs and a tread that doesn’t wear out, even after ten thousand miles.
For what has good pop music always been, other than the successful transformation of eternal personal truths into a singular cosmos, which embraces everything but doesn’t want to hold onto anything by force? We hear the pressure of Franz Ferdinand, the wild guitars of the Pixies, the smoothness of Air, the melancholic raptures of New Order and the Olympian sound balance of Tony Visconti. Above, within, behind and in front we hear Benjamin Diamond’s voice – brilliant, casual and catchy. There’s nothing more to say, except perhaps that, with regard to Benjamin Diamond and the great success that "Out Of Myself" is, it is exceptionally and fortunately really about the music. It’s the whole shebang!