|Official Release Date||Aug 18, 2009|
descriptionMy Old, Familiar Friend is Brendan Benson's first album since becoming Jack White's lieutenant in the Raconteurs but the group's raucous classicist guitar rock isn't much heard on this, Benson's fourth collection of precisely practiced pop. If anything, the higher profile he's received as part of the Raconteurs has offered Benson the opportunity to ratchet up his perfectionism and indulge in a bit of retro fantasia, allowing him to pair the bright, neo-Motown of "Garbage Day" with "Gonowhere," a rather brilliant pastiche of prime Wings. All the extra time and budget on My Old, Familiar Friend do result in a record where it's easier to admire Benson's reach and skill, even if his power pop isn't quite as powerful, something that's evident when the music is at its liveliest, as on the opener "Eyes on the Horizon" or the cheerful, not entirely ironic breakup stomp "Don't Wanna Talk." Such is the trade-off of working on a grander scale: the ambitions are realized at the expense of energy. Fortunately for Benson, his taste and melodic skills are suited for this bigger scale, so My Old, Familiar Friend winds up as an effective showcase for his craftsmanship. A bonus 7" LP/CD version was also released.
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