Analogue Music | Brendan Benson - Dear Life
Brendan Benson: Dear Life

Brendan Benson: Dear Life

Artist: Brendan Benson · Written by Eric Baker

Date Released

24 April, 2020


Third Man Records

Make no mistake, Brendan Benson has been busy.

The singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist returns to the scene with the release of his seventh solo record, Dear Life (Third Man Records)—his first solo project since 2013. In the interim, he’s best known these days as the co-front man of the Raconteurs, duties he shares with fellow Michigander Jack White. In addition to the time he spends recording and performing, Benson has also stayed busy as a producer and co-writer, working with artists such as Robyn Hitchcock and Young the Giant.

Benson has always had a gift for writing hook-filled, shimmery songs that mostly live on the more aggressive side of power pop. Sounding like he was raised on a mix of Big Star, ELO and Jellyfish, among others, his melodies practically jump out the speaker, and dare you to try and forget them.

While Benson has been making music for well over 20 years now, his sound has continued to evolve, never sounding dated or staid. Dear Life is no exception. Benson returns with some familiar trademarks: soaring melodies, garage rock-sounding guitar solos, and a solid collection of three-minute ditties that are sure to leave you humming along.

While these new songs will no doubt please fans of his older music, Benson is evolving as an artist. He's sounding settled and happy these days as he writes fondly about growing older, yet still having that rock ‘n roll spirit in “Half A Boy” and “Freak Out.” Even the joys of being in love and having a family are referenced in “Baby’s Eyes” and “Richest Man Alive”—the latter sounding like it might have come right out of the Matthew Sweet, Girlfriend-era sessions.

Benson's newest set of songs are layered and well-crafted and find the artist comfortable in his own skin. Yet Benson also still finds the things in life that inspire him to create. Dear Life is not only a welcome addition to the Benson solo catalog, it’s also a strong statement from a musician who has found his sound, yet still pushes the boundaries outward.