Long before Ziggy Stardust, the closest thing kids had to a glam-rock icon was Peter Pan: he wore tight pants and feathers, loved fairy dust and rolled with an entourage of very young boys. So it's genius that Maryland singer-songwriter Benjy Ferree dedicates these awesomely glittery, platform-boot-stomping anthems to Neverland's biggest hope.
A concept album about Bobby Driscoll, the teen actor who scored the title role in Disney's 1953 film Peter Pan, Ferree's second full-length tells a gripping coming-of-age tale about a child star who, like his on-screen alter ego, was never allowed to grow up: After he hit puberty, Driscoll couldn't get hired in Hollywood, developed a drug habit, and met an untimely end at age 31, when he died homeless and penniless, and was buried in an unmarked grave. Extolling Driscoll's life story with all the drama that the one-time Academy Award winner surely deserved, Ferree channels Jack White's yowl on "Pisstopher Chrisstopher," doles out a mean, T. Rex-inspired blues boogie on "Blown Out," and blows up Queen-style harmonies on "Big Business." The guy's got so much flair for theatrics, you can practically hear him busting out of his leotard. True, it helps that Driscoll's the kind of epic hero meant for Broadway playbooks, but the biggest legend Ferree establishes here is his own.