on 18 May 2002
One Mississippi is already deleated in the US, and very hard to find. Brendan is a singer songwriter from Detroit, and this was his debut from 1996. Sounding very much like Jellyfish, though with much cleverer and subtle lyric. The CD open with the first thre tracks segued into each other, and it's a breathless start. Alternating between powerchord pop, and whistful lyrics, it's agreat start. I'm Blessed drops the pace a little, before the wonderful Crosseyed starts, and this song will invade your subconciousness. Me Just Purely, Got No Secrets and How 'Bout You continue with the classic pop feel. And then Emma J cuts in, a wonderful love song. The only weak song on the record, Insects Rule follows, must've been a good idea in the studio, I guess? Before climaxing in a trio of classic songs, House in Virginia, Cherries, and the 'hidden' track, possible called Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, a cod country track, that somehow Brendan and Emma pull off with aplomb. This man, and te band, the well fed boys, will be stars, so get this while you can. You won't be disapointed.
on 16 April 2003
This is the first record Brendan Benson made after being signed to the Virgin label. Unfortunately they didn't like his style and he spent the next few years trying to extricate himself from the contract and finding a different label with which he could release his newer material (step up Startime/V2). This is why One Mississippi is now unavailable in the USA (Brendan said in an recent interview that he doesn't even own a copy himself). Luckily it's still available to buy in the UK.....so buy it quick.
I bought it after buying and loving Lapalco, and at first was disappointed, although there are a couple of tracks that are set to be instant favourites (Emma J and Tea, notably). However, when I gave it a chance and listened to it properly, I realised that it is actually an excellent album despite the difference in sound to Lapalco. Sittin' Pretty seems to be a favourite among fans, and Me Just Purely, I'm Blessed, Cherries and House In Virginia are all great songs. Insects Rule shows a (very) weird humour: a woman lets insects into her home, but when her husband returns from sea he finds her lying dead and a spider 'sipping tea'. If you can get past the mad lyrics - 'She trained them so well they could answer the phone' - this is actually a pretty good song with a catchy tune (just try not to hum the words if you do hum it in public).
Overall, this is a very good album; although it may not have the instant appeal of Lapalco, it does actually have a wider range in sound, and is definitely worth having.
If people do come to this after being introduced to the man by his more recent album, then that's great ... I've been frothing at the mouth about this album for the last 6 years or so. It kicked me straight in the shins on first play and was so infectious that I found myself still going back to it months and months afterwards, tracks going onto numerous compilation discs for myself and other people in the meantime. This and Falkner's 'Author' album completely renewed my love affair with the guitar pulled barb of classic powerpop. An absolute belter start to finish and unreservedly recommended !!