Sunday, September 20, 2009

Relatives of Jack White

I change my mind every time that the wind blows; Don't know what happens, don't know where the time goes; I feel a whole lot better when you come around... (Brendan Benson - A Whole Lot Better)

A couple of recent Jack White related releases have caught my ear; Brendan Benson's An Old Familiar Friend and The Dead Weather's Horehound (another Jack White side project).

Brendan Benson is the co-lead singer/guitarist and Jack White's partner in crime in The Raconteurs. Benson's new cd My Old Familiar Friend is his fourth solo cd and while it may echo The Raconteurs it definitely stands on it's own. Benson's songs are laced with 1970's style hooks that only after a few nibbles you feel yourself being reeled in. The cd leads off with, A Whole Lot Better, 3 minutes of pure perfect pop; Gonowhere displays a kind of Paul McCartney & Wings feel; Garbage Day harkens back to Motown glory; Eyes on the Horizon displays the kind of paranoia that only Ray Davies of The Kinks could write; Misery is another instant winner. My Old Familiar Friend is just that, it somehow instantly feels like you know these songs in a nice fresh way.

The Dead Weather is a whole other thing; a kind of alternative rock supergroup comprised of Jack White (on drums), Alison Mosshart from The Kills (on vocals), Dean Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age (on guitar) and Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs (on bass). This is sort of anti-pop, heavy blues, like a modern Led Zeppelin. The cd requires numerous listens to absorb whats happening, but it is worth the effort. The highlights for me are Treat Me Like Your Mother, Will There Be Enough Water, Rocking Horse.

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