Brendan Benson – Brendan Benson

Benson back at his day job and he is a master at it

More famous now for his work with pal Jack White and The Raconteurs, it’s a shame that Brendan Benson isn’t as well known as his pale faced friend. After all, Mr White seems to be hailed as one of the best songwriters of his generation but Benson kicks seven bells out of him when it comes to writing pop songs, as anyone who heard his second album Lapalco will attest. If you haven’t heard that, get to your nearest independent record merchant and check it out. It won’t disappoint and neither will this, his eponymous fourth album.

Anyone expecting Raconteurs style rock n’ roll will be disappointed though for this is Benson back at his day job and he is a master at it. This is the kind of bouncy pop rock that sounds so effortless, because it’s so much fun to listen to, but is actually really hard to pull off. Great melodies, good lyrics and a sense of experimentation can get you a long way, and they serve Brendan well here, but he has a fearlessness that allows him to go a step further than most others. Let’s take Garbage Day, for example, which is some kind of disco influenced poppy love song that (listen to those strings!), in most people’s hands would be a disaster but here he hits the jackpot. It’s a wonderful track. It’s obvious that he’s not afraid of looking like a tit at any point (he’s in The Raconteurs, after all), and we should praise him for it because this is a completely joyous album that will leave a smile on your face and your foot tapping. If you’re looking for a good time, you’d be a fool to ignore this album. Brendan Benson is as much fun as Supergrass at their best, and that’s high praise coming from me.

Words: Damian Leslie