Even better than the real thing? Maybe...
What matters more? Quality songwriting or originality? The question weighed heavily as I listened to Brendan Benson’s latest LP. You Were Right is certainly not devoid of great songs. ‘As Of Tonight’ is wonderfully euphoric, capturing the jubilation one feels at the end of a bad relationship; ‘Swallow You Whole’, led by ragtime piano, is an irresistible toe-tapper, and ‘She’s Trying To Poison Me’ contains some deliciously cruel lyrics (“She’s not exactly the girl of my dreams”).
For all the immaculate guitars and melodies, Benson’s influences threaten to eclipse his efforts: there are times when the album overdoes the Bowie and The Beatles fan worship.
Ultimately, however, the songs are too beautifully crafted to be dismissed as mere imitation. By the time album closer ‘Oh My Love’ rolls around, one can’t help but be under Brendan’s spell.
Key Track: 'Oh my Love'
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Most of it is clever, some of it too clever, and the production is at times very two dimensional, lacking any real depth to the sound.Read More
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Benson’s voice, double-tracked throughout, has a homely, unfussy quality which perfectly complements the record’s ordinary-bloke lyrics and sweet melodiesRead More