Brendan Benson // What Kind Of World
Luke McKenzie checks in with the returning Raconteur, who's new solo LP features guest turns from REM and Big Star members...
What Kind Of World
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Before playing any album by Benson I tend to imagine that it’ll be full of epic power pop – because that’s what he does, and he’s flippin’ good at it. It’s pleasing to report that ‘What Kind Of World’ lives up to those expectations.
Most artists might be challenged for ideas when it comes to writing their fifth album. Benson on the other hand has regained his pizazz and there’s a noticeable freedom to this record. It could be down to the birth of his first son having given him “a whole new motivation, a new vigor” or it could be due to doing it totally on his own terms, having created his own record label, Readymade.
The opener and title track shows his disheartenment at the lack of appreciation for his genre, exclaiming “you take me apart, before I can start”. Later, musicians from bands such as Big Star, REM and The Cardinals all feature on contributing tracks ‘Light Of Day’ and ‘Come On’, both of which emit the classic rock Mojo sound.
There’s slowed down delicate Americana to be found on ‘No One Else But You’ and the brooding ‘Pretty Baby’ but the standout moment is ‘Here In The Deadlights’ with swift tempo changes and the ‘Benson bark’ coming to prominence. Worth a listen.