Not only is this a New Release Tuesday, it's also my anniversary. How are those two things related? Well, I think I might be able to talk my wife into taking me out anniversary gift shopping and this week's New Album Releases column gives us some shopping options. Let's start with the album I've been waiting all summer to hear:
My Old Familiar Friend
I wrote about this when it was first announced and I'm pleased to tell you there was one factoid that has changed since that article was written: the release date moved up a week!
My Old Familiar Friend is Benson's first solo album in four years. While neglecting his solo career, Benson and Jack White have teamed up to make two Raconteurs records. Both of those records are excellent and I'm glad to have them, but I've been impatiently waiting for a follow up to his brilliant The Alternative To Love.
I've heard one song so far (Amazon offered a free download of "A Whole Lot Better") and my anticipation has not waned. This has so many elements of classic Benson that I just can't wait to hear the other 10 songs. He's had catchier choruses but this still has a nice hook, loads of layered vocals, and plenty of subtle sonic quirks inside a loud, power pop mess. There aren't many artists working today who create power pop the way Benson does on his solo albums. I read at least one article – the link to which I can no longer find – suggesting Benson might have another album's worth of material ready to go, meaning we might not have to endure another four-year gap.
Walking On A Wire
I'm talking out of my ass on this one, but I feel compelled to write about this because a handful of the regular readers of this column will crush me if I don't. I know the name Richard Thompson. I know he's revered for his guitar work. I know he did an album with his wife at the time, Linda, that chronicled the disintegration of their marriage and many consider it an absolute classic.