Brendan Benson “You Were Right”
On the tail end of 2013 Raconteur and power pop stalwart Brendan Benson turned in his sixth album, an amalgam of singles and unreleased tracks. Benson turned a corner musically with What Kind Of World the year before and “matured” in a sense but You Were Right shows Benson can still knock out minor chord masterpieces will skill. “It’s Your Choice” and “As of Tonight” are terrific songs that match the best in his catalog. His country roots influences are still apparent on the snappy “Diamond” and “Long Term Goal” speaks to the motivation “Have you got a long term goal? Or is it only Rock and Roll you live for?”
This is a solid album without filler and with enough stylistic variety to merit multiple replays. A lot of fun to listen to in a “not-so-serious” way, including the Kinks-ian “Swallow You Whole” and fatalistic “She’s Trying to Poison Me.” My favorites here are “The Fritz” with its dream-like harmonies, Beatlesque guitar and the Stone-sy “Red White and Blues.” This definitely would’ve placed somewhere in my top ten last year.
Glenn Robinson “Modern Mistakes”
Robinson is a one man wrecking crew from Rhode Island. Opening with a furious riff-tastic melody on “The Worst,” Robinson compares well with Green Day or The Figgs. Its an album meant to played loud, with just enough hooks to keep you humming along.
One of the best power pop songs here is “Wavelength,” its the classic melody/verse combo lead by Robinson’s rough vocal. Other highlights include the punk pop mastery of “Outta My Head” and “Tambourine” could’ve been a track on Kurt Baker’s last album. All the songs are short and sweet; you may get worn out by track ten, but its a sweet ride while it lasts. Fans of Hot Nun and Foo Fighters will also dig this one. Highly Recommended.