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Nieuwe Geluiden 10/17/2009....

There is not much that is stopping Benjamin Winter from conquering the hearts of the public with his 3rd release The Wind Blows Way Up High. He has a bronze voice that delightfully soothes the listener. As a full-grown singer- songwriter he writes warm, honest songs, the kind that you need a few of at least every day. He is not afraid of crossing the borders of the established genres. In this. The Make Believe complement him tastefully and the result is an enjoyable diversity of song structures that all are impressive, while staying unpretentious. My favorite point is the modest sadness that is draped like a thick blanket over some of the pop ballads. That is when the lyrics and his voice blossom and the consciously simple arrangements maximize. This is what elevates the Wind Blows Way Up High above the average singer-songwriters album…..

Evidently Benjamin Winter needed the tragic luggage to have his talents blossom. It is probably that knowledge that withholds him from a exaggerated bravura, so that the concentration stays on the songwriting. It is not the past that haunts him, but the field that lay’s open for a magnificent career. ….

3voor12 Album Review 10/12/2009....

The opener A Crown starts with a dreamy guitar intro but soon bursts into a rousing climax. The voice of Benjamin Winter is warm and relaxed during calm moments, and follows the music into it’s frenzy throughout the album. A Crown seamlessly crosses over into Islands, which requires a look at you CD player to realize it’s a different song. Another returning aspect on the album: The songs converge so beautifully you never feel tempted to use the shuffle button. This does not mean that The Wind Blows Way Up High lacks variation. Sweet, small, listening-songs like Lighter Side, which encourage you to ‘close your eyes and dream away’, are alternated with more happy, up-tempo tracks like the alt country- Lullaby and The Beat, where it becomes hard to resist dancing and singing along….. The composition of the record is strong and the sound is full. Along side Winter, cello, piano, guitar, drums, trumpets, & female backing vocals, make this a beautiful listening album for the dark winter days…..

3voor12 Show Review 10/17/2009....

Benjamin Winter can be excited. The small hall of Paradiso, he will release his second album The Wind Blows Way Up High, is generously filled this Wednesday night. And the audience even gets a little restless when at 10.00pm the stage is still empty. Winter and his The Make Believe enter to a loud applause when they start the show with sturdy folk rock…..

Opening with 2 older songs, where especially the cellist Jonas Pap gets all space to rip on his cello, seem to be functioning as a mood setter for the public and to play the nerves away: a warm up for the material of the new CD. With Islands, the public finally gets treated to the new material. The dreamy start with the cello and the warm voice of Benjamin Winter slowly work towards an intense climax, where even a young trumpeter is added…..

The Bluegrass like Lullaby is one of the Highlights of the evening. Bassist Jori Pronk has exchanged his bass guitar for a stand up and Jonas Pap plays the banjo. But especially the harmonizing with pianist Lydia van Maurik-Wever makes for goose bumps, just like Father which gets under your skin with its estranged soundscapes. Father, Benjamin explains, is originally written for his father who suffers chronic pain, but this night he dedicates it to his grandfather who recently passed away…..

Winter has also less obvious inspirations. The Beat, so he tells us, finds its origin in “The worst of Dutch inventions”: ramming. What follows is a country-like song where a befriended violinist jumps up on the stage and enters into a magnificent musical battle with the cellist that even hard for Benjamin to stop. Somebody that can turn ramming into such a fun event has a special talent…..

OOR album review 10/2009....

It is not a cheery album cover, that of Benjamin Winter’s new full-length, The Wind Blows Way Up High . Grey, Ferocious: a wild impetuous voyage alone on the sea. The North Sea I would say, because the Californian Winter, recorded this album in The Netherlands. He has a thing for ships, because his music sounds like a pleasant ride on a row boat. The delicate opener A Crown starts as a push from the dock: calm, waiting for something to happen. That moment comes when more of the members of accompanying band The Make Believe join in. …. The power of the harmonic interplay is continued in Lighter Side and the sweet Lullaby, where guest musician Lydia van Maurik-Wever treats us to her crystal-clear voice. Winter writes more than just sweet songs and he proves that with the deep and beautiful The Borders Bleed. In Father we can hear a resemblance (in guitar and voice) with producer and musician Greg Lasswell, who engineered and produced Winter’s debute album Amber Alley and After. We sail on with a strong lyric composition in The Beat and an overwhelming goose bump moment in Sing Sing Sing. Benjamin Winter proves himself as a Singer-Songwriter with beautiful lyrics and knows how to transfer that in a beautiful setting, perfectly placed by the members of The Make Believe. The last song Ole feels as if sailing into the safe harbor…..

Musicfrom.nl 10-19-2009....

The newest album by Benjamin Winter ‘The Winds Blows Way Up High’ starts immediately powerful with opener ‘A Crown’. Benjamin Winter is supported by a pack of musicians, The Make Believe, from which this album diverts its strength….. Especially the use of the cello stands out and gives this CD a Damian Rice-like, dreamy atmosphere. Two tracks into the album, with ‘Lighter Side’ we get unexpectedly introduced to guest vocalist Lydia van Maurik-Wever of the band Brown Feather Sparrow. She knows exactly how to strengthen the perfect atmosphere that Benjamin is creating. Also ‘My Curls’ and ‘ Lullaby’ tell a beautiful story and know how to surprise you…..

Alternative.Blog.Nl 10/26/2009....

The ones who love beautiful, warm, melancholic songs with here and there a folksy sway are lucky that Winter had to end his Football career and concentrate on music. This he proves again with his new album The Wind Blows Way Up High, the follow-up of his solo album Amber Alley and After (’05) and the EP Memory and Forever (’07)…..

You read the words ‘beautiful’ ‘warm’ and ‘melancholic’, so we can say The Wind Blows Way Up High is released through Munich Records in the exact right season (autumn). The eleven very pleasant listening songs are not as impetuous as the storm and the waves on the album cover. The tempo is calm, the arrangements are well finished.- just the right piano touch here, some pretty violin there- and Winter has a soothing voice, but never once does he let your interest go…..

The album beautifully opens with the softly beginning and slowly swelling A Crown. Next, warm piano strokes, a sad cello and a climax with horns make you happy in the waltz Islands, that makes you think of some sort of sea man song that fits the album cover well. Lighter and well rounded songs like Lullaby, Osceola and The Beat, and Lighter Side indeed acquaint us with the Lighter Side of this artist. There is enough variation with alternating leading roles between piano, acoustic or electric guitar while the lyrics are always beautiful and have a high standard. Ole is a beautiful closing piece where everything is pulled out of the closet by the musicians including trumpets and strings in a magnificent chorus. …. It’s always good when one of the strongest songs on the album also forms the finale. Impatient lovers of say, Damien Rice-around whom momentarily it’s very quiet, would do themselves a favor to listen to Benjamin Winter. Because after several spins of the album, he appears to have made one of the better singer-songwriter albums of the year, and he knows how to equal the emotional impact of the said Rice in his deeper numbers The Borders Bleed and Sing Sing Sing. I wonder if Winter learned in Holland what “petje aaf” (hat’s off) means…..