The sheer amount — not to mention overall quality — of music being released by the Jack White-associated family of vagabond rockers has become somewhat overwhelming. But don't count Raconteurs vocalist/guitarist Brendan Benson as a Johnny-come-lately. The Detroit native has been a solo artist since the late '90s and specializes in classic power-pop with sprinklings of '70s progressiveness. (Think Elvis Costello backed by ELO.) The eleven tracks on Benson's new solo effort, My Old, Familiar Friend, are wrapped up in smooth, velveteen analog production and plenty of undeniable pop hooks and harmonies. "Don't Wanna Talk" skips along on a bed of hard-shuffling drums and gritty strokes of rhythm guitar; it should elicit plenty of head-bobbing in the live setting. "Garbage Day," with its exotic orchestral arrangements, driving snare drum pulse and electric piano flourishes, sounds like some kind of lost treasure from the era of '70s AM Gold.
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