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What Kind Of World CD

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Brendan Benson — What Kind of World (Readymade Records)

As much as the story behind Brendan Benson’s fifth solo album is the story of making a record, it is also a story of finding a family — of love, marriage, the birth of a son, and of another kind of family too: one made up of all of the musicians, music-lovers and friends, who have helped to make these songs and ... Read more in Amazon's Brendan Benson Store

Visit Amazon's Brendan Benson Store
for 19 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

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What Kind Of World + You Were Right + My Old, Familiar Friend
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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Lojinx
  • ASIN: B0076L9UXY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,630 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. What Kind of World
2. Bad for Me
3. Light of Day
4. Happy Most of the Time
5. Keep Me
6. Pretty Baby
7. Here in the Deadlights
8. Met Your Match
9. Thru the Ceiling
10. No One Else but You
11. Come On
12. On the Fence

Product Description

Product Description

Self-produced and recorded in the analog-only environs of Nashville s Welcome to 1979 studios, What Kind Of World features members of Big Star, Ryan Adams' the Cardinals and Phantom Planet. Co-founder of The Raconteurs, Benson has spent a lifetime spread across four states, from a childhood spent on the outskirts of New Orleans, to his years in Detroit, Michigan, sojourns in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a more recent relocation to Nashville, Tennessee. With five solo albums, one as Well & Goode and two albums apiece with The Mood Elevator and Raconteurs, he has captured his own America in finely hewn power pop. Created as an outlet for his own writing and production work, Benson s Nashville based label Readymade Records & Publishing will follow the release of What Kind Of World with the debut album from Young Hines in May, produced by Benson himself. Both albums will be released in the UK and Europe by Lojinx. Brendan Benson will be performing a string of UK & European dates in May.

BBC Review

Unkind souls may consider Brendan Benson to be the Andrew Ridgeley of The Raconteurs, the quasi-supergroup he co-founded with Jack White back in 2005; but this is unfair and fairly inaccurate given that there were four of them. The old colleagues’ paths continue to converge though, as Benson’s fifth solo album emerges in the wake of White's much-trumpeted debut, albeit in a lower-key fashion. The fanfares tend to fade after your first few records, even if the quality doesn’t.

This thoroughly enjoyable release does include one surprising blast of brass, in fact, which came about after Benson bumped into a horn section at a party and decided to liven up the chorus of a lovely song called No One Else But You, which otherwise sounds like a lovelorn Gram Parsons. That's just one of numerous unforeseen shifts of tone, and there’s a carefree air throughout, the sound of a man clearly revelling in his creative autonomy.

The now Nashville-based singer-songwriter recorded What Kind of World in the warm afterglow of recent fatherhood, although the title track is an unrepresentative introduction, with its gloomy outlook and clunky lyrics. No matter, as the great rollicking howlers then begin in earnest with Bad for Me, an evocative blast of piano and power chords that really should be accompanied by a video in which Brendan is dressed as one of the girls from Heart.

The remainder barrels along with such unpretentious, anything-goes bonhomie that it could easily be another side project rather than the day job. Happy Most of the Time conjures the barroom post-pop of Squeeze, while Keep Me is a Hammond-fuelled sex-boogie. Thru the Ceiling’s moodier grunge eventually gives way to a sing-along chorus, and authentic Nashville influences rear up late on, particularly on the honky-tonk closing track, On the Fence.

"I want to get married, I wanna raise a family, and do the things that normal people do," he warbles, before the inevitable twist. "But what self respecting woman would ever have me and not stab me, when I want to have my cake and eat it too?"

Only in country and western can a casual reference to knife crime sound so jolly.

--Si Hawkins

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Penny Busby on 23 April 2012
Format: Audio CD
It's a mystery to me why Brendan Benson is not better known and more commercially successful. He has been creating great music since the late nineties, but despite critical acclaim he never seems to quite breakthrough to the "mainstream".

I first discovered his work through The Raconteurs, a band that he co-fronted with Jack White. Although all the song-writing credits were given to "Benson/White" and the vocals and guitars were shared equally between the two, the media and general public focussed on Jack at Brendan's expense, clearly not appreciating his input into that band.

Anyway, back to this latest offering: it's a great album from start to finish. After the slightly disappointing "My Old, Familiar Friend" from 2009, Brendan is back to what he does best: writing, singing, playing and self-producing 70's-infused, guitar-based rock/pop songs.

And the songs are the key. He knows how to write great songs with catchy melodies that after 2 or 3 listens become embeddded in your subconciousness (like Paul McCartney at his best), ready to pop out again at any moment.

"What Kind of World" is a perfect opener with the lines "You take me apart before I can start", "so looked over, so under-rated", he seems to be wondering about the injustices of being passed over by the music business.

"Bad for Me" has a delicate piano opening and soaring choruses, and lyrics about a propensity to enter into bad relationships.

"Light of Day" seems to be a vampire song, but I'm sure I hear a bass line from a much earlier song "Left and Right" in there.

"Pretty Baby" features vocals from the country singer, Ashley Monroe.
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By H. Jonsson on 7 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Arguably the best album of 2012. Like other reviewers I am dumbfounded by the fact that Brendan Benson isn't more widely known and applauded for his craft...

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By mark kinsley on 8 Dec. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good price, good product, good delivery
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Not His Best, But Worth a Listen 27 April 2012
By Platinum - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I am a huge fan of Benson's. I'm familiar with all his songs, from "hits" such as Tiny Spark to unknown b-sides like Christopher's Revolt. I celebrate the man's entire discography, so it's only natural to want to feel the same about this record.

What you'll find here is a different Brendan Benson who still writes the same kind of music. The lyrics are more personal and the music is a bit more dark and atmospheric, but the strong melodic style is unmistakably BB. This is a welcome change, as it mixes things up without forgetting what got him noticed in the first place.

It's a bit of a bumpy road though. Some songs really stand out, and some unfortunately feel tacked on as filler (only a couple of these). Lots of albums have good and bad songs, it's very common, but what makes What Kind of World sadly unique is the amount of songs that have huge potential that never seem to really take off. "Light of Day" has an A+ chorus that's unfortunately surrounded by verses that pale in comparison. "Happy Most of the Time" has a killer melody that suffers from lack of musical variation in the performance. Too many of these songs are "almost" classics, and it's a shame.

All this being said, this is still an album worth checking out. There are some great songs here. Just beware that for every song like "What Kind of World" or "Here in the Deadlights", you might come across something a bit more uninspired like "Come On." It's a bit uneven and not quite perfect, but a decent melodic rock album nonetheless.

I welcome the musical changes on this record with open arms, hoping that BB might find a masterpiece within himself next time. He's done it before (Lapalco), here's to hoping he can do it again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
singer/songwriter indie pop/rock 24 May 2012
By Charlie Quaker - Published on
Format: Audio CD
5th album from Nashville artist & member of the Raconteurs (along with Jack White). This is
better than usual singer/songwriter indie pop/rock that moves from guitar driven roots rock to
mid-tempo ballads augmented by a horn section to catchy hooks of pure power pop, and odd
combinations of tribal drums with keyboards & strings. Contributions from members of the
Posies, Loudermilk, Pistol Annies, Young Hines. Recalls artists like Jonathan Coulton, Nada
Surf, Fountains Of Wayne, Ben Kweller, Matthew Sweet, the Pernice Brothers. Feels like a bit
of a sleeper that at first seems like nothing special, then slowly creeps up on you.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"So looked over, so underrated"... an album for what kind of world? 25 April 2012
By Jamison Geibel - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The kind that appreciates this deep-thinking, hard-working songsmith. "What Kind of World" is another beautifully crafted work of art from Raconteurs bassist and vocalist Brendan Benson, his fifth album in a long line of quality releases.

Benson presents to the listener a dozen top-quality songs that, after my fifth or sixth listen to the album, will be gracing my ears for years to come. The album clocks in at around 40 minutes of music, which is nearly the exact length as his 2009 release "My Old Familiar Friend" (which is, not to devalue "What Kind of World," Benson's best album). Standout tracks include the title track "What Kind of World," the haunting and desperate "Pretty Baby," and, my personal favorite, the indecisive country gem "On The Fence."

I'm reluctant to compare Benson to Raconteurs band mate Jack White, as they are two entirely different beasts... but someone is bound to, so I might as well. After all, the two released their albums on the same day! If, in a post-apocalyptic dystopian future, I were forced to choose one of these fine musicians to recommend to a friend, I would gladly throw my support behind Benson in this informal competition. While Jack White's eclectic musical styles on "Blunderbuss" might hold my attention for the moment, few of his songs impress upon me the feeling of timelessness. Benson's introspective focus on thoughts and emotions put into words and set to fitting instrumentals creates the kinds of songs that will stay with me long into the future. "What Kind of World" is a worthy addition to Benson's catalog and deserves more than to simply be overlooked and underrated.
Great Album 25 Jun. 2014
By Agatha Nichols - Published on
Clean power pop/rock. Catchy hooks, good lyrics. This is a strong album that for sure proves he's not Jack White's sidekick.
Brendan's a dad 3 Jan. 2013
By B. Vine - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Nice album from Brendan, dedicated to his son. Good songs and lots of heartfelt lyrics. What else do you want?
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