Brendan Benson | What Kind Of World

Readymade (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  April 24, 2012
2.0 2.0 Stars

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"Crank it up for me," mutters pop-rawk craftsman Brendan Benson on the intro to "Here in the Deadlights." But there's little cranking (of guitars or emotions) to be found on What Kind of World, his polished, tuneful, and utterly unmemorable fifth solo album. Dude can still write a pop song; the roaring, new wave-ish title track has a chorus worth hanging your coat on, filled with soulful, purring organs and glistening harmonies. But What Kind of World goes down too smooth, partly due to its draining studio slickness and partly due to a lack of enthusiasm. Although the peppy "Happy Most of the Time" gleefully aims for Cheap Trick and nearly makes it, too many tracks ("Met Your Match," "Come On") feel like stale pop-punk dressed up in vintage clothes. All of this worked much, much better on 2009's My Old, Familiar Friend and 2008's woefully underrated Consolers of the Lonely (his second collaborative album with Jack White as the Raconteurs), both of which had mischief and muscle underneath their candy-coated surface. What Kind of World might temporarily soothe your craving for windows-down pop, but its shelf-life won't keep it fresh through winter.

  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Brendan Benson, Brendan Benson,  More more >
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