REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Young Welsh singer-songwriter Ben Parker, under the alias of Lost Like Alice, burst onto the scene last summer with his excellent debut EP, ‘Thread’.
Since then, he has been proving himself to be one of the most talented emerging artists around.
It is little wonder, then, that ’20’ has been so eagerly anticipated.
Comprising of six tracks that, when combined, run to a total of 21 minutes, this follow-up offering sees Ben take you on an intimate, deeply personal, and emotive journey.
The opener, ‘What’s Missing?’, is a blues-led track, delivered at a fast pace, with an underlying hook, angst-ridden vocals, and lyrics dealing with realisation, taking you back to a moment in your life when you had realised that you had gone off track and had to do better.
‘The Getaway’ is probably one of the two most emotive songs of the EP, the other being finale ‘One Last Time’, with gentle acoustic guitar strumming, soft vocal tones, and stripped back melodies, suiting well its theme of trying to get through to somebody that you care about, who is drifting away from your life.
The tender, tranquil sound continues with ‘Crooked Lines’, however, the chorus is easier to sing along to, and the lyrics deal with growing up, becoming more mature, and accepting your past mistakes.
Next up is the title track, ’20 (When We Wake)’, which Ben himself considers to be the most important of this record.
After listening to it, I found that I agreed with his viewpoint, as it really captures the essence, both musically and lyrically, of the EP, what with him singing about just turning 20, realising that he doesn’t feel it, and deciding to revisit pivotal moments in his life up to that point.
Again, Ben ventures down the path of stripped back melodies, but in comparison to ‘The Getaway’, this song is an altogether more optimistic piece.
Penultimate track, ‘Headlights’, the first single of this to be unveiled, late last year, sees Ben’s emotions at his most conflicted, he’s happy to be living a quiet, simple life, but at the same time, he sings about wanting more freedom, and having someone to share it with.
It is still a predominantly acoustic composition, however, there is subtle instrumentation, which makes the song stand out.
With a significantly longer running time of almost five-and-a-half minutes, ‘One Last Time’ really gives Ben a chance to shine, with atmospheric acoustics and harmonies enabling him to pour his heart out.
’20’ is a much more heartfelt and thought-provoking affair than ‘Thread’, and effectively shows just how much Ben has matured, both as a singer and songwriter, in what has been a relatively short space of time, which should definitely result in even more plaudits coming Lost Like Alice’s way.
TOP TRACK: ’20 (When We Wake)’
CHECK OUT OUR INTERVIEW WITH LOST LIKE ALICE HERE.