Missing Elliott Smith
? We are too. But while the sexiest pockmarked man in singing-songwriting is busy germinating that 'difficult' 6th album, his place in our darkest hours is being occupied by another rough-looking soft heart. Step forward, Detroit’s Brendan Benson
, friend of Jack White, writer of wry, tuneful pop songs, and the only real threat to Elliott's bruised throne. His looks suggest a life lived in the company of hard liquor and harder women. But his songs – like the flawless, melodic 'Tiny Spark' – reveal a wide-eyed innocent in love. Teenage Fanclub
may well have left this tune behind last time they passed through Detroit. And so 'Tiny Spark' jangles along like a bell on a bicycle, a cheery power-pop warning of the dangers of trying to understand girls. Charming.