Glam-rock, blues, and old-school rebel folk rule on this homage to a dead child star.
The idea of a eulogy album for a dead child star seems sweet but boring. However, Benjy Ferree’s second album, Come Back to the Five and Dime Bobby Dee Bobby Dee, is neither. Laced with glam-rock, blues, and an air of old-school rebel folk, the 14 tracks examine the rise and obscure death of child actor Bobby Driscoll, who was made famous by Disney’s 1953 rendition of Peter Pan. The Bobby Driscoll theme appropriately leaves the album musing on the fear of growing up. The track “Big Business” sarcastically commands young men to shave and suit up for work, while on “Whirlpool of Love,” Ferree claims to be relinquishing regret in a Freddie Mercury–style lament. Other than the dopey, heroin-laden “When You’re 16,” the album is full of uproarious instrumentation and sing-song lyrical arrangements that keep the vibe good-spirited. The opener, “Tired of Being Good,” lays it all out on the table with a backup orchestra, choir, and a heavy bass chord to guide this anxious funeral march of an album.