Brendan Benson – My Old, Familiar Friend

January 01, 1970

(ATO)

 

www.atorecords.com

 

 

 

Better known as
Jack White’s right-hand man in The Raconteurs, Brendan Benson returns to his
gig as a skilled purveyor of retro-pop on his fourth solo disc, My Old, Familiar Friend.  One listen to the blistering opener, “A Whole
Lot Better,” a stick of power pop dynamite with rapid-fire percussion and
high-pitched keys that recall Elvis Costello and the Attractions, and it’s
clear Benson knows plenty about writing a good hook. 

 

His keen melodic
sensibilities continue to shine on other rough-around-the-edges power pop
numbers like “Poised and Ready” and “Borrow” as well as mellower tunes like the
exquisite Motown-infused “Garbage Day” and “Eyes on the Horizon,” which draws
from Benson’s Rundgren and McCartney influences.  The album sags only when Benson manages to
sound merely pleasant-“Lesson Learned,” “Gonowhere”-or adopts a style
ill-suited for his talents-the droning, dance beat-driven “Feel Like Taking You
Home” comes to mind.

 

Standout Tracks:  “A
Whole Lot Better,” “Garbage Day” JASON
MIDDLEKAUFF

 

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