Brendan Benson: You Were Right
In some circles, Brendan Benson is perhaps best known for being a member of Jack White’s other other band, The Raconteurs. However, as a solo artist, Benson serves up delightful pop rock with a relentlessly upbeat sound, no matter how dark the lyrics.
You Were Right manages to dabble in subgenres without straying too far from his central sound. “Rejuvenate Me” has a power pop sensibility, whereas “Diamond” channels an intriguing country rebelliousness. “Swallow You Whole” employs some jazzy piano, while “Red White and Blues” sounds like something that could easily feature Benson’s collaborator, Jack White.
However, the song that stands out the most to me is “I’ll Never Tell.” While the first minute is subdued, mostly defined by its synthesizer, electric guitar kicks in and sounds more suited to one of Queens of the Stone Age’s big hits. It’s an intriguing musical choice that shows off the conflict between confessing love and holding it in.
While You Were Right is full of songs that are enjoyable to listen to and easy on the ears, most of them don’t stick in my memory the way “I’ll Never Tell” does. You Were Right plays it a bit too safe and would benefit from some risks or surprises, though I cannot fault the record for what it could have been rather than what it is.