Release Date: Apr 24, 2020
Record label: Third Man Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Power Pop
In The Raconteurs, Brendan Benson's classicist songwriting and Beatleseque melodies prove the perfect foil for bandmate Jack White's more uncaged moments. But Brendan's seventh solo album, 'Dear Life', sees the tables turn with his most experimental release to date. Opener 'I Can If You Want Me To' sets the tone, as pitch-shifted vocals and icy Dr Dre-style synth stabs - not elements you'd typically associate with the Michigan songwriter - make way for big primal riffs.
Those familiar with Brendan Benson might know him for his role in the Raconteurs, the guitar-heavy rock band he started with Jack White, or for the striking solo albums he's been slowly releasing since the mid-'90s. With seventh solo album Dear Life, Benson actively explores beyond both the rock heaviness of the Raconteurs and, to a lesser degree, the power pop songwriting greatness that's defined his solo work. Album opener "I Can If You Want Me To" begins with a looped vocal sample and processed singing, programmed drums, and a nearly dubstep-like chorus that all add up to a huge departure from anything Benson's attempted before.
It’s been seven years since Brendan Benson last released a solo album, but it’s like he’s never been away. While it’s true that there’s a dose of experimentation on Dear Life, at its heart is always what’s made him one of the most likeable, if underrated artists – some perfectly constructed power pop. There’s sometimes a case of ‘always the bridesmaid, never the bride’ with Benson.