“Let the Madness Begin is the debut album from Kansas City native Ben Juneau. Juneau is a strong songwriter who writes about love and life. The album consists mainly of melodic pop songs with a standard verse-chorus construction that seem based toward an adult contemporary crowd. The opener, "From Cold to Colder", begins with a solo vocal by Juneau and leads into a Middle Eastern-sounding drum accompaniment that carries the song along with a lot of energy. The second song, "Go It Alone", is a lounge-blues song about a relationship that might be on the verse of ending. All of the musicians on the album give incredible performances and accent Juneau's writing very skillfully, but at times there does seem to be an energy lost. The most positive aspects of Let the Madness Begin are the individual performances and the maturity of the songwriting.
The Harbinger 1997
A Baker's Dozen of Original Ear Candy...
Been a fan of Ben Juneau from the first time I heard this album. It's refreshing to hear some original music that has not been shaped and packaged by a mindless recording industry whose only interest is to sound like everybody else out there. Along with the great guitar playing, the lyrics are not only written with feeling but also sung with an equal enthusiasm. 'From Cold To Colder' is a strong emotional lead-in to this Baker's Dozen of savory ear candy. Although every one of the songs stands on it's own merit, my personal favorite is 'You Don't Know Love'. Who among us can say they haven't been there before? Do yourself a favor and hook-up with this artist. As for me, I'm anxiously waiting to hear more from Ben Juneau.”
Itunes customer review
““…13 tracks of intensely probing words and music inspired by painful adult experiences.” THE KANSAS CITY STAR”
The Kansas City Star
“Juneau's Holy Trinity -- his pen, voice and sly guitar -- get along very well here. He jumps styles with ease, sauntering along with the lite pop "Go It Alone", winding a C/W lament with "Harder Than the Wind Blows", then cranking out the rock with "You Don't Know Love At All". It's a joy to listen to Juneau's muse bounce around while he deftly navigates so many musical terrains.
Lyrically, his poetry would make Robert Smith look like Barney. But though his world is filled with characters who are lost and alone, drinking away their cares and longing for things past, Juneau paints them elegance. The title track is a wonderfully engaging country stomp about an alcoholic friend. "A Crime Never Tried" is hard and fast blues, filled with both despair and drive. Things might get low, but Juneau never drops the ball into self-pity or indulgence. Instead, he turns laments into romps, and invites all to join in the fun.”
Infozine, May, 1997
“Any album that contains the song-opening salvo “She came back from Las Vegas all excited about a new piece of ass" should be getting airplay, gaining support.
His Let the Madness Begin is not a revelation, but it is a solid, well-played record. Thirteen original songs cover territory from jaunty country-rock to brittle folk and pre-dawn balladry. Juneau is comfortable performing solo, and you can hear that these songs were written with intimate delivery in mind. But the full band arrangements are given plenty of breathing room by Max Berry's considerate production, and percussionists Greg "Chille G" Allen and James "Chico” Battaglia lend a sophisticated assist. If Juneau's lyrics are not poetry, they prove him a more thoughtful, sincere songwriter than most recent local acts. His clear advantage is a deep, pained voice. Theslow songs gain a rich drama from Juneau's thick consonants, but he remains agile enough to sing up-tempo numbers convincingly.”
The KC Pitch, Kansas City, MO 1996
“The sweet strains of “From Cold To Colder” break slowly, like daylight on the horizon. The tabla surprised me; the song has a lovely ring and an Eastern spirit. “Let The Madness Begin" is real folk, with violin and mandolin accenting each sad line of a drunk on his way downhill. "A Crime Never Tried” is prime acoustic blues, with wailing harmonica that begs for mercy. "Go It Alone” is smarmy jazz, with sax and a deep, late nightclub feeling. “Harder Than The Wind Blows" is exquisite, with charmed, twinkling piano and a soul full of torment: "Understanding her/He's a blind man painting pictures/Texture, shade and hue/Each stroke a futile gesture." Mainline country is evoked in the guitar-rich “You Turned On Me”.
The Midwest can be interesting, and not the least bit corny. Give Ben Juneau a glance-you may find yourself unable to look away.”
The Aquarian Weekly, Montclair, NJ 1997