Brendan Benson : Lapalco

Impeccably cool dude's impeccably cool UK debut

Meet Jack White‘s favourite songwriter and where are you? You’re in the Mississippi delta with an octogenarian called Howlin’ discussing his recently deceased dog, right? Well no, actually, you’re cruising Madison Avenue in a beaten up Chevy gassing about cars and girls with Brendan Benson, essentially Evan Dando if he’d never seen a single goblin. ‘Lapalco’ is a masterpiece of geography: the angular pop panache of Benson‘s hometown Detroit lashed magnificently to the cosmopolitan fuzz and fluster of his adopted New York. Imbued with the same comfort-blanket buzz they got from all those Quaaludes and Gerry Rafferty and Wings records in 1973, twentysomething relationship-rock killers like ‘Folk Singer’, ‘Tiny Spark’ and ‘I’m Easy’ are Sex In The City made music; slick, sardonic and perfect with a family tub of Ben & Jerry’s.

Mark Beaumont