3 Out Of 5 Stars
Brendon Benson has carved out a nice little niche for himself as a power-popper extraordinaire. He's cut albums that use the blueprint of bands like The Who and The Beatles (and then their acolytes, like Jellyfish or Matthew Sweet), but his three albums prior attracted mostly critical attention and a devoted cult audience. One of those fans was Jack White, who pulled Benson into the rocking Raconteurs, which raised his profile sufficiently enough to get him another record deal, this time with ATO.
"My Old Familiar Friend" will surprise those familiar with Benson only via his Jack White friendship, but not those who have loved his albums like "One Mississippi." Benson flaunts his love of Paul McCartney from the first notes of "Whole Lot Better." There's a kick of Motown in the swirling strings of "Garbage Day." "Misery" even has a little bit of an Attractions kick to it. All across the album, there's a cheerful vibe to which the sixties were the most fun of the musical decades.
What does that mean for you (or for Benson, for that matter)? Depends on your record collection. "My Old Familiar Friend" will slot in nicely if you slavishly pour over your Jason Faulkner, Matthew Sweet, Big Star and Badfinger albums. Seeing as PowerPoppers are something of an insular breed of fanatic, then that's about the best recommendation I could give as to whether or not you'll like this Cd and want to buy a copy for yourself.