Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Tale Of Two Records

Last Tuesday both Brendan Benson and Jack White released solo records. Both are members of The Raconteurs; Brendan has had a long solo career, while Jack has been part of a band you might have heard of called The White Stripes. I found it interesting that these past collaborators both had records come out the same day. Brendan's I was able to download directly from his website, while for Jack's I had to get it Tuesday afternoon from eMusic.

(BTW, I love eMusic. If you check it out and decide to sign up let me know because I can get free credits by recommending people.)

I have liked Brendan Benson for a long time. His first record, One Mississippi, is a power-pop masterpiece. His 2010 record My Old Familiar Friend made my Favorite list that year. His new record, What Kind Of World, has a very good chance of making this years Favorites list.

I like The White Stripes but not nearly as much as BB. I have always had a soft spot for catchy and hooky tunes and Brendan is a master at it. The White Stripes and Jack White I never found terribly catchy. I liked the records as blues-based rock but I didn't go back to those records as I did others.

Here's a new Brendan Benson track called "Here In The Deadlights." It's not the best track on the record but is the only one from the record YouTube has. It is also an excellent representation of what BB is up to.

Now here is Jack White and a (very weird) video for "Sixteen Saltines" off his Blunderbuss record.

This is my favorite tune on the record because it is the catchiest. Jack is a strange dude and that bleeds over into his music. But that makes it interesting. "Interesting" is the key word here. In general maybe Jack White's music is best categorized as interesting. He doesn't have a niche that he falls into. Brendan Benson falls into the power-pop niche very comfortably. Jack White is hard to categorize. He takes more recognizable challenges. He is not afraid to go a bunch of different directions. And it's obvious he is not making a commercially driven record.

That isn't to say that Brendan Benson is not taking chances. His music is just more focused. This record is of a more mature artist compared to where he was 15 years ago. Listen to One Mississippi and it is a much more exuberant record, seemingly teetering on the edge of control. The new record does not feel like it is going to careen over the cliff. The songwriting is top shelf here, and that's why I would say unhesitatingly that I like BB's record better than JW's record. The simple strength of the songwriting. Which record and I going to remember and play in 5 years? I am willing to bet it will be Brendan Benson.

1 comment:

  1. So far I've heard two songs from the Jack White CD and I love both of them. Haven't bought the record yet. I always had mixed feelings about the White Stripes. I thought they had good tunes but the instrumentation was too spare for me. I like a good bass guitar. I've heard good things about BB.