This Toronto singer-songwriter continues his Canadian take on Americana in a glossy follow-up to 2015’s equally slick 'Golden'.
Ben Kunder's stock-in-trade lies in plaintive love songs where any heaviness deriving from hard times or heartbreak is effectively lifted by rich, slightly over the top arrangements.
"We all need the darkness to see our love light shine", a line from I Will Be Your Arms sums up the main focus of the record.
The album was recorded with multi-instrumentalist/producer Aaron Goldstein and Kunder is accompanied by a well-drilled backing band plus vocal assists from Oh Susanna, Jim Guthrie, Carleigh Aikins, Sarah McDougall and Maia Davies. Being supplemented by strings, pedal steel, keyboards, percussion, guitar, and bass produces refined folk/pop music with a full confident though still somewhat bland sound.
It's all a bit too safe and wholesome to be properly engaging. The hearty endorsement of solid relationships and family values is made clear in the two closing tracks. Come On is an unapologetic hymn for monogamy while Night Sky celebrates the birth of his child.
Kunder wants us to know he's one of the good guys. "I'm working harder everyday to be a better human in this world" he assures us on the title tune and far be it from me to argue with such a noble ambition.