Brendan Benson - My Old, Familiar Friend (3 stars)

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Brendan Benson - My Old, Familiar Friend

(Echo)
After a four-year sojourn as right-hand man to pal Jack White in The Raconteurs, Detroit singer-songwriter Brendan Benson here returns to the day job, creating pristine and boisterous guitar pop influenced by The Cars and The Kinks. This fourth album is impeccably crafted, and Benson retains his ear for an eye-poppingly harmonious chorus, but there’s something slightly clinical about the arrangements and production which lacks the homely, Lemonheads-y charm of Benson’s finest album, 2002’s Lapalco. At his best, like on blistering opener ‘A Whole Lot Better’, Benson’s singalong bounce is unbeatable pop genius, but more ragged edges might suit his talents better.

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