BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Pop auteur, producer, entrepreneur, and sometime member of the Raconteurs (the band he co-helms with fellow busybody Jack White), Brendan Benson is slowly building a reputation as a prolific multi-tasker exceedingly skilled in playing those various roles. Yet nowhere is his prowess more evident than on his individual albums, which find his devotion to both melody and motif given full reign. Helped along by a pair of Posies and other assorted guests, Benson’s created an album that stands as his best thus far, a vivid, emphatic encapsulation of pure pop coupled with unabashedly enthusiastic execution.
Benson doesn’t set out to break down any barriers, but then neither does he need to. Whether it’s the mid-tempo romp of “It’s Your Choice,” the emphatic deliberation of “Diamond,” the brassy revelry of “I Don’t Wanna See You Anymore” and “She’s Trying to Poison Me,” or the reggae infused rhythms of “I’ll Never Tell,” Benson offers up each entry with workman-like precision, while turning out songs that exemplify his unyielding devotion to craft. Earlier influences aren’t lost on him either, and if there’s something vaguely McCartney-esque about the lighter respite of “Oh My Love” and “The Fritz,” it’s merely one more sign of his dedication to duty.
A product of his own Readymade Records label, You Were Right confirms Benson’s forward ascent, an album that should move him from supporting status to the place in the foreground where clearly he belongs. All things considered, it’s a fine example of how true craft can be meted with earnest intent.
DOWNLOAD: “I Don’t Wanna See You Anymore,” “The Fritz,” “I’ll Never Tell”