Polished radio rock records
As Jack White goes all Jools Holland boogie-woogie on his solo album, for his Raconteurs compadre Brendan Benson it’s back to the day job – knocking out glistening radio rock records with more hooks than a Saw movie prop department.
This fifth solo album breaks no new ground – besides piano epic ‘Bad For Me’ making a case for him as the 21st-century Harry Nilsson and the brooding, string-flecked prowler ‘Pretty Baby’ obviously being written as an audition for a Twilight soundtrack. But it reasserts Benson’s standing as one of America’s greatest songwriters, even if his adherence to straight-ahead meat-and-potatoes FM bar-room rock, unfiddled with since 2002’s pop masterpiece ‘Lapalco’, shows all the imagination of a Sonisphere line-up. Lust, loss, despair and all-out S&M (the sultry ‘Keep Me’) skitter about beneath these glossy grunge melodies, but never dampen the overall gusts of wind-in-yer-hair wonder.
Leave your ATP reward cards at the door and dive in, the current’s lovely.