“FORCES” by Michael Benhayon
“FORCES” by Michael Benhayon
This album is quite simply a masterpiece; a mould-breaking tour-de-force that shatters any illusion around life as it is generally known. FORCES commands our attention with an unparalleled clarity: not only is it musically phenomenal, full of spectacular and intricate musical riffs, sounds and ideas all played with absolute mastery; not only does this musicality get delivered with a grace and freedom that carries none of the normal emotional and vibrational assault of this rocky style, but as if this weren’t enough, the music and lyrics deliver a profound teaching –– 10 lessons in the form of songs, about how to deal with the forces that (try to) run our lives.
From the start of the guitar riffs and solid drums in the first track See It All, we are invited to sit up tall, get our groove on and listen intently. The opening lyric, “They’re coming thick and fast, trying to tear you down and any ounce of your truth” declares the subject of the forces open. We are offered to acknowledge that any thought or movement that is not confirming of the depth of who we are is in fact the product of forces. “No matter how they arrive”, sings Miranda Benhayon, “protect and refuse”: by refusing entry to these imposing energies, we protect that which is most precious to us. This song and its incredible inter-weaving guitar lines inject a clarity that pulls us out of the mud of identification with forces. It says we can stand strong in observation and watch as the lies crumble: “Take me to the top, I wanna see it rock coz I wanna see it all, Take me to the top, we wanna see it rock so that we can watch it fall”. After a guitar solo that is hot in the way that it claims the vibration of true fire, the music at the very end of the song echoes the effects of something collapsing – and we are left in the knowing that the forces are nothing but a speck compared to the grandness of Heaven.
From the head-nodding beat of See It All to the pumping pop piano and kick drum in Forces that echo the feeling of being pursued by the forces, the song insists “It’s just a point of view that they control your truth”. You can’t help your feet tapping and body moving as the aha moments rain down with the truth so plainly stated: “so they will build you up and tear you down, they’ll make you feel success but control your sound”. The third track Refrain returns to the full rock vibes as Miranda calls a powerful opening question, “So you wanna reject… all your love”? Here we are presented with our responsibility to not “let your heart be stained, c’mon refrain”. The message is to stop entertaining the forces that play with us and try to diminish us: “You gotta stop playing in the game… Play, not be played, come on refrain and don’t ever let them move you… Universal strength is where it’s all at”.
Tempted is the ballad track on the album that undoes everything you’ve ever thought a ballad is. With all the sincerity of the style minus the thick emotionality, the lyrics and music take us on the journey of being inspired by another’s reflection to deepen our stand for truth, to the point where we can finally be that for another. But – serious as this topic is – let’s not get heavy! All Said & Done opens with a playful, super cheeky bassline that calls us to claim our sass and spunk in the face of forces: “And I’ll strut my stuff and you can’t get enough, I’m over all your lies coz it’s all said and done”. There is quite simply no way to listen to this or any of these 10 songs and stay static in body or mind. Without hooking you into any story or stimulation, without bringing any drama whatsoever, each of these musical masterpieces have an infectious capacity to bring joy, get up and go, and leave you feeling not only like your particles have been given a good clear out, but like you’re ready to get on with what needs to be done: “Tick tock, no more time to waste, you gotta take it to the top and give them a taste of true love, true fire, true power” (No More Time).
You might say the album is delivered with confidence, but that word falls so far short of the simultaneous sassy attitude and humbleness with which composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Michael Benhayon and singer Miranda Benhayon deliver these songs. There is a fullness and joy that can only come from Divine knowing that “I’m part of a masterplan” (Masterplan), which they both embody. You could equally say that they bring authority to each note and part, and you wouldn’t be wrong – but it’s way more than authority: this album is an expression of pure glory, completely unapologetic and all-knowing of the magnificent reflection it offers to its listeners. “Stride by stride I can feel the heavens beneath my feet” (Masterplan).
Listen to it whilst you’re working out and you’ll be supported to embody the joy of movement and the graceful power of physical strength. Fancy a dance? “Break loose, time to get up and move!” (No More Time) You’ll get back to moving your body with a childlike innocence: “in a groove watch me move in space, beauty like a shooting star in super space”. Feeling lethargic, frustrated, depressed or generally out of sorts? The quality of every one of these songs, when connected to, can inspire you to sweep away the invasion that’s draining you.
Each song on the FORCES album offers a particular alchemy. Take the final track Where I’m From, an instrumental piece that is unlike any other. It has all the up-front, no holds barred joy and sexiness of a master musician expressing his craft and yet none of the loading of the adoration-seeking arrogance that is often communicated in similar pieces, which might leave the listener with an edgy, hardened attitude or in a state of stimulation and false confidence that feels ‘above it all’. Listening to this instrumental however is like being freshly laundered; you come to the end of the song with a sparkling brightness, clarity and yes to life in the body that is undeniable. All invasion is rendered naught by the fire of musical truth. If this is where Michael Benhayon is from, yes please to that!
Ultimately, the album FORCES blows out of the water any ideas or beliefs we might hold about what music is for and elevates it to the status of evolution. Delivered with an eternal vitality and sass that leaves you expanded after every song, listening to it is pure joy.
It exposes the indulgent individuality of the music that the pop world produces, shaking up lethargy and not only sounding the Universal call to awaken; “Don’t you ever wonder why you feel that burning eternal fire?” (Masterplan), but also giving a roadmap out of the swamp and destruction of our reality as created by forces into the sheer magnificence of the Universe that holds it all.
Simply put, the beholding quality of the verbal and musical language of this album is undeniable, unparalleled and unmissable.