NY Rock
Bill Ribas

This duo of James Raftery on vocals, guitar, keys and "sounds", and Jeral Benjamin on viola may not rock per se, given at times an almost baroque sound. But the purity and simplicity of the instrumentation, the sense of sadness culled from the lyrics, and the pop folk feel together all sounds so refreshing it's hard to get the disc out of the player. There's even a sense of humor evident from "Breather", a 90-second cut of crowd noise, general milling about, and some brief viola notes. And while the disc at once may be a bit too depressing, small doses are a good way to cleanse the mind. It'd be nice to see what Raftery writes when he's a little more cheered up.