I first wrote about Brendan Benson in 2009. His release, "My Old Familiar Friend" was one of my favorite records of the year. As I am wont to do, I went back to previous Benson music and got reacquainted, enjoying both "One Mississippi" and "Lapalco" immensely.
Since 2009, Benson has left me rather cold. I was not a fan of either "What Kind Of World" and "You Are Here." Both were fine records, but neither had the punch of "My Old Familiar Friend." Good, but not great records that rarely called me back the way a great record should.
But now, Brendan Benson is back in my good graces with his April 2020 release, "Dear Life." This record reminds me of "My Old Familiar Friend" in many ways, with a diverse collection of styles all under one roof, and some truly solid songwriting, rife with enough hooks to snag a pike.
Check out two of my faves.