I know it’s silly to call something underrated when it’s just barely released. However, I can make some exceptions. In the case of Ben Morfitt’s recently released album “It’s All A Bit Weird,” it released to little-to-no fanfare and, in the weeks since, has only garnered maybe a few thousand views at most. I am not a music critic, so I’m not going to call this a review. Instead, I’d like to spotlight the work that Morfitt has done.
Not only has he produced an album that’s rich in variety and has tracks that seamlessly blend into each other with ease, but he’s crafted one of the most emotionally resonant pieces of music I’ve heard in a long time. This is impressive for several reasons, the king among them being the fact that there isn’t a single lyric to be found in Morfitt’s new record. Everything is instrumental, and although this may cause it to feel like a soundtrack on distant listens, closer listens reveal tracks that are meticulously paced, and manage to be surprising in areas one wouldn’t expect. The best example I can think of for this is SOS, the penultimate track. It starts out intense, sounding not unlike a battle theme you’d hear in a JRPG game like Final Fantasy. But then it goes harder than that. Suddenly, it sounds like a metal song. But not for too long before what sounds (to me) like a saxophone roars across the airwaves, and it takes a turn for the jazzier. The next track, Surrender, concerns itself more with motifs from previous tracks than anything else. The result is a melancholic and contemplative way to cap things off; as well as being a send-off that manages to loop back to the first track on the album just as seamlessly as the track transitions themselves.
It’s All A Bit Weird caught my eye when Ben Morfitt released The Stagnant Cruise in November 2020. A long and sprawling track that’s dried in an adventurous tan that manages to feel both hopeless and uncertain, it’s, without a doubt, his best piece of music to date. More than a year later, my opinion has not changed. Its inclusion in Morfitt’s new album only strengthens my opinion of it; the mood that the album carries could not be accomplished without it.
What saddens me, though, is that this album will likely never see the popularity it rightfully deserves. I suppose a lot of that has to do with the fact that Morfitt’s work has been dwindling in popularity. Not even a cover of The Office’s main theme song could net him more than one hundred thousand views. In a way, the fact that It’s All A Bit Weird feels like it’s about this decline, and the creative burnout that comes with it makes it feel more significant than a majority of the music that YouTube content creators produce. This isn’t some cheap, slapdash pop music made by somebody who wants to be a megastar while convincing the world that they have more of a footing in pop culture than their status suggests. It’s a personal passion project that manages to hit all of the strides it aims for, and then some.
I will be seriously disappointed if this album doesn’t have a cult following in ten years. And by seriously disappointed, I mean not surprised. But even if nobody else listens to it, it’s impacted me, and I can’t deny that. In short, It’s All A Bit Weird is a masterpiece that was overlooked the second it came out the gate. If you haven’t listened to it already, please do. It’s also on Spotify if you use that.