Brendan Benson has been making music for over 15 years in a variety of configurations. He made his solo debut in 1996 with One Mississippi, a modern power pop masterpiece on par with Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend. Since then he has also played in a number of bands, including the Mood Elevator, Hello=Fire & the Raconteurs, alongside Jack White of the White Stripes. The relationship with White has proved particularly fruitful, as Benson has become a valued right-hand man with production work on White-related projects ranging from the Greenhornes to Loretta Lynn.
But Benson has his own music to make, and his solo career continues with his fifth album, What Kind of World. The album is especially meaningful as it represents the debut of Benson’s own label, Readymade Records, and it is being released to coincide with his son’s second birthday. But the record’s personal resonance is apparent in the music as well. The record’s sentimental first single, “Bad for Me,” is a piano-ballad that bursts into a full-bore sweeping pop gem (check out this KCRW Music Blog post for a further discussion of the song.) “Pretty Baby” churns with the kind of murky blues reminiscent of the Kills. But much of the album showcases the catchy guitar rock Benson is known for, with affectionate echoes of the Police, the Cars, Elvis Costello & the Attractions and Paul McCartney spread throughout.
Brendan Benson joins Jason Bentley on Morning Becomes Eclectic on Wednesday, May 9 to showcase tracks from this new album. But check it out here first!!!
-- by KCRW DJ Eric J. Lawrence
What Kind of World will be available to stream on demand from April 30 through May 6.