Brendan Benson may not be a household name like his Raconteurs bandmate, Jack White, but he ought to be. The songwriter has been relentlessly releasing solo albums since the 90’s, and his latest offering, What Kind of World, offers up some of his strongest material yet. Shoegaze and classic rock influences chime through, making this as appealing to fans of Teenage Fanclub as well as hardcore Beatles fanatics.
Opener â€œWhat Kind of Worldâ€ is a charging call to arms, while â€œBad for Meâ€ sounds like it was lifted from one of Paul McCartneyâ€™s (old) notebooks. Benson has a brilliant eye for detail with his writing, knowing when to create a spooky vibe (â€œPretty Babyâ€) and when to make it addictively catchy, such as in â€œMet Your Match.â€
By releasing What Kind of World on his own label, Benson has been able to craft an album that is diverse but still tight. Every song is a brilliant slice of indie rock, but Benson is free to throw in instruments like saxophone, trumpet, and pedal steel guitar to his liking. This is definitely an energetic, inspired offering and proof that Benson is a grand songwriter in his own right.