Cover image for Dear Life (CD)
Title:
Dear Life (CD)
Publication Information:
[United States] : Third Man Records, 2020.
Physical Description:
1 sound disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Contents:
I can if you want me to Good to be alive Half a boy (half a man) Richest man Dear life Baby's eyes Freak out Evil eyes I'm in love I quit Who's gonna love you.
Summary:
Tthe new studio album from Brendan Benson is his first new album in almost seven years. It is his seventh solo album and first with Third Man. After all of his success with the Raconteurs, Benson is sure to make a splash with this album.

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R.H. Stafford Library (Woodbury)1On Order
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Summary

Summary

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. The computerized feel of this song carries over with the detached synths and cut-up samples of "Good to Be Alive" and the reverb-thick loops of "Who's Gonna Love You." When Benson strikes out with this kind of experimentation, it's hard not to think of his bandmate Jack White's willfully weird 2018 album Boarding House Reach. Benson's dabbling with vocoded vocals and beat programming never goes quite as far off the deep end as White did with that brilliantly strange record, but he's still in new territory. As Dear Life goes on, however, Benson's pop roots come out more. Good-times classic rock hooks dance with synth pulses on "Half a Boy," with a chorus so infectious its melody outshines any arrangement choices. Themes of family and life settling into a good place come up repeatedly, especially when Benson relaxes into more familiar organic songwriting on tunes like "Baby's Eyes" and "Richest Man." An amazing singer, Benson's ability to harmonize with himself is one of his many gifts as a songwriter. As with all of his albums, his understated vocal arrangements are one of the guiding forces on Dear Life. It's exciting to hear Benson take some new risks with these songs, but also a relief that he never gets too far away from the deft songwriting and pop sensibilities that he's been refining for all these years. ~ Fred Thomas