Mutual Benefit’s debut album plays like a soundtrack where each song represents an image and each image, a feeling. Love’s Crushing Diamond is strewn with nostalgic sentiments and is evocative without being brash. You feel yourself in it, and you get the notion that front man Jordan Lee is as much a musician as he is a human being. His thoughts are honest, and he expresses them organically. That is why this collection of seven songs is so successful. You don’t realize after listening to a song like “Advanced Falconry” that something interesting exists beneath the surface. Mutual Benefit is essentially Jordan Lee’s creation, and defines more properly as a project than a band. That’s because Lee has an ever-rotating group of musicians working with him to create music rather than a concrete set of band members.
And while, under these conditions, Jordan Lee could have produced something inconsistent, he didn’t. Listening to these songs is sort of like transporting to your past on public transportation. You’re looking out of a big window at so many feelings, and you are comforted by their familiarity. That seems to be the main reason this is such a great debut. You sense that Jordan Lee feels so much, and links himself to others through the experiences attached to those feelings. That is the true Mutual Benefit.
– Carianne Hixson