Ben Lee’s new album, Ayahuasca: Welcome To The Work, was inspired by an experience he had while tripping on the extremely strong hallucinogenic plant ayahuasca. He’s described the experience as life-changing and he wanted to pay tribute to the plant as a result. If it sounds silly, well, yes I suppose it is a bit silly. And it’s by no means an easily accessible album to listen to. I’m not advocating for drug use, but it’s not an album you’re likely to appreciate in a normal state. Then again, the album has almost as many intense moments as it does calm ones, so listening to it while high could result in a massive panic attack. In other words, listen at your own risk. But it’s a beautiful work of art and it’s really grown on me during the past few weeks. I’d listen to it once, decide it wasn’t for me and leave it at that. But then a week later I’d be curious to see if I’d like it more with another listen. That would happen to some degree, but not enough to keep it in heavy rotation chez moi. So, I’d cast it aside again, only to re-visit it days later. The point being that, slowly, it did grow on me. Sometimes I appreciated the mellow moments. Other times, it was the more vigorous moments that moved me. But once I’d decided to let it in, it almost had a magical effect on me, as if it were a drug that you might get high on by listening to it. Of course, I never would have forced myself to keep listening to it if I wasn’t already a Ben Lee fan, so if you don’t like him then you probably wouldn’t want to put yourself through the uncomfortable listening experiences you’re likely to have before you start enjoying this. Not unless you’re a big fan of drug-inspired music and feel compelled to investigate for that reason.
Sample lyric: “Good morning, good morning, the nature heard your tears, good morning, good morning, look up and find the will to grow, build the strength to breathe, all you need to know, comes out of little seeds”