steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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Brendan Benson

"Lapalco" CD

StarTime International

Genres: pop, rock, indie rock

StarTime Int'l

StarTime Int'l
285 5th Avenue
PMB #452
Brooklyn, NY 11215

June 17 - 23 2002

I've heard a lot about Brendan Benson recently.   This album has received a lot of good press, including positive reviews in many popular magazines and newspapers.  But, until now, I haven't had the chance to actually listen to the music.

As such, I was overjoyed when "Lapalco" came in the mail.  I wanted to hear this album - this catchy, wonderful album - that I had heard so much about.  Was it a disappointment?


Absolutely not.  The songs on this album are brilliant.  They're catchy, they're rocking, they're completely irresistable.  Not a single track falls flat.   "Eventually," for example, is a sixties-tinged rocker with a chorus that grabs you by the neck and forces you to sing along to it.  This sixties influence is one of the major staples of this album, as many of the tracks bleed similarities to bands like The Beatles and The Kinks.   As a result, the music is quite traditional, yet still retains a sense of originality that seperates it from the majority of what's popular right now.  And while that may come in Benson's way on the road to becoming marketable, becoming big on the indie scene is much more noble than selling out to the corporate world.

What makes "Lapalco" particularly good are the styles he incorporated into his twelve songs.  You've got the rollicking rock of "Tiny Spark" and "Folk Singer"; you've got the ballad-esque emotion of "Life in the D" and "Pleasure Seeker"; you've even got the tantalizing pop of "You're Quiet" and "What".  And, as each tune passes by, you're confronted with one particular question: where's the bad part?  Yet the answer is, of course, that there is no bad part.  Benson doesn't need filler because Benson doesn't feel obliged to make filler.  Benson just makes great song after great song, and is thus the proud new father of this wonderful CD.

Altogether, "Lapalco" is a wonderful selection of catchy pop/rock.   Although, seeing as though there are a number of negative connotations that are inferred when using the term "pop/rock", I prefer to say that the album is pop/rock without the hyphen.  Describe it how you want, though, because one thing's for sure - "Lapalco" is amazing.


Matt Shimmer