Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Ben&Ben – Maybe The Night

Here’s a Philippine folk-pop band who aren’t a duo and don’t feature any members named Ben.


Edward Okulicz: This song is from 2017 but has evidently become huge in the Philippines on the basis of its inclusion in the hit film Exes Baggage. It’s not hard to see how a bunch of people could have seen a romantic film and simultaneously fallen head over heels with this gentle, optimistic love song. The little violin interjection after the second chorus melts my heart as much as the video, and the song gets maximum impact from brothers Miguel and Paolo Guico’s harmonies. It’s only a twist away from being contemporary country, and I think anyone who likes James Taylor or even Speak Now era Taylor Swift (particularly “Ours” or “If This Was a Movie”) could open-heartedly enjoy this.

John Seroff: I have no interest in kicking that puppy, but that doesn’t mean I want to keep it.

Alfred Soto: With voicex as warm and burbling as fresh hot oatmeal, Ben&Ben reactivate every white love-you-down from Rod Stewart and Extreme to Cracker and Train. Every generation gets the “Tonight’s the Night” it deserves.

Iain Mew: Their voices curdle as they strain for the chorus, but the lovely, patient arrangement keeps the rest of it charming in flickering firelight. It’s also just refreshing at this point to hear anyone taking after Damien Rice who isn’t Ed Sheeran.

Jessica Doyle: Admittedly, that video has tugged on every string my heart has ever had (the Totoro doll!). Without the video, I might have found the song a bit limp. With it, I wish I could hear this on local country radio stations.

Katie Gill: There’s always room for an adorable, clichéd, by-the-book love song perfect for scoring a romantic scene in a movie or placing solidly in the middle of the pack at Eurovision. This is that genre of song. It’s not doing anything new and it’s not re-inventing the wheel. It’s a solid song that gets played at the first dance of weddings and peppers indie Spotify playlists that make you think of your crush. And I’m a SUCKER for that nonsense.

Ian Mathers: Blah blah blah something about “objectivity” (it’s art, for goodness’ sake, even if you could who would want to be objective?), but it’s been a very long day and I’ve been thinking about going home to my apartment and my wife for hours now and maybe under other circumstances something pitched this hard and fast down the center of folk-pop/chamber-pop divide, with such a gooey, exposed heart, might have rung a little cornball (that the video strikes pretty precisely the exact same note will be a plus or a minus, depending on your taste). But right at the moment it feels unabashedly lovely.

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