Brendan Benson — Dear Life (April 24, 2020)USA FLAG                Brendan Benson — Dear Life (April 24, 2020)  Brendan Benson — Dear Life (April 24, 2020)♣ℜ♠    Jeho zatím nejvíce experimentální vydání. Člen The Raconteurs, což jistě je dobrým vodítkem. Chválím hustou dynamiku alba. Výsledkem je využitá hravost, která povznáší odborně vytvořené písně jako otvírák „I Can If You Want Me To“ a první singl „Good To Be Alive“ s plynulými aranžemi, elastickými groovy a vyzařováním světla, prazvláštní sílou, žhavící téměř k popálení. Inspirován pronikavým citem, revitalizovanými ambicemi a sebedůvěrou je na albu DEAR LIFE Brendan Benson ve svém nejlepším komfortíku.   Location: Nashville, TN
Album release: April 24, 2020
Record Label: Third Man Records
Duration:     32:19
01. I Can If You Want Me To   2:16
02. Good To Be Alive   4:10 
03. Half A Boy (Half A Man)   3:42
04. Richest Man   2:45 
05. Dear Life   3:19
06. Baby’s Eyes   3:02
07. Freak Out   2:36
08. Evil Eyes   3:20
09. I’m In Love   1:33
10. I Quit   2:28
11. Who’s Gonna Love You   3:08
First new solo album in almost 7 years
First new album with Third Man Records
Brendan Benson vocals, guitar, keyboards, organ, piano
All songs were written, performed, recorded, and produced by Brendan Benson except “Baby’s Eyes” which was written by Brendan Benson and Will Hoge and performed by Brendan Benson, Jon Estes (bass) and Jon Radford (drums). “I’m in Love” features percussion by Michael Ilbert.
All songs were mixed by Michael Ilbert at Hansa Studios in Berlin.
Mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound in NYC.
Legal: Kent Marcus Management: Michael Krumper & Brian Kecskemety, Missing Piece • GroupAgent: Steve Ferguson, APA
Press: Ken Weinstein, Big Hassle Media
REVIEWER: FELIX ROWE  ⌊ 10 May 2019 ⌋ Score: ★★★★
♣ℜ♠    In The Raconteurs, Brendan Benson’s classicist songwriting and Beatleseque melodies prove the perfect foil for bandmate Jack White’s more uncaged moments. But Brendan’s seventh solo album, Dear Life, sees the tables turn with his most experimental release to date.
Opener ‘I Can If You Want Me To’ sets the tone, as pitch~shifted vocals and icy Dr Dre~style synth stabs — not elements you’d typically associate with the Michigan songwriter — make way for big primal riffs. It’s a wonderfully chaotic assault built on quickfire tempo changes; a clear riposte to any accusations of playing it safe.
Single ‘Good to Be Alive’ seemingly finds him back in familiar territory — a classic piano ballad… until another swift about~turn sees it morphs into an electro~fused disco strut.
♣ℜ♠    Point made, Brendan settles down into his signature ‘70s~infused guitar pop occasionally aided by brass, before ‘Freak Out’ (as frenetic as its title) and ‘I’m in Love’ bring out the riffs again. On ‘Half a Boy (Half a Man)’, the “welder’s son” tells us “there’s more to me than what you see”. There certainly is.

⊗     “There’s something about this record,” Benson says, describing his Third Man Records debut album DEAR LIFE. “A friend of mine called it ‘life~affirming.’ I thought it was a joke at first but then realized, well, it’s about life and death for sure. I don’t know if that’s positive or optimistic or whatever, but that's what's going on with me.”
♣ℜ♠    Brendan Benson finds himself in an enviable spot as he enters the third decade of a remarkably creative, consistently idiosyncratic career — an accomplished frontman, musician, songwriter, producer, band member, husband, and dad. Benson’s seventh solo album, and first new LP in almost seven years, DEAR LIFE is this consummate polymath’s most inventive and upbeat work thus far, an 11~track song cycle about life,  love, family, fatherhood, and the pure joy of making music.  
♣ℜ♠    Produced and almost entirely performed by Benson at his own Readymade Studio in Nashville, the album sees the Michigan~born, Nashville~based artist — and co~founder, with Jack White, of The Raconteurs — reveling in a more modernist approach than ever before, fueled by a heady brew of cannabis, hip~hop, and a newly discovered interest in software drum programming.
♣ℜ♠    The result is an untapped playfulness that elevates expertly crafted songs like the opener, “I Can If You Want Me To,” and the first  single, “Good To Be Alive,” with voluble arrangements, elastic grooves, and incandescent power. Imbued with revitalized ambition and confidence, DEAR LIFE is Brendan Benson at his very best.