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Brendan Benson
Lapalco


4.0
excellent

Review

by La Revolucion USER (8 Reviews)
June 24th, 2006 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


Pop music is a strange thing. Some people avoid it like the plague, while others listen solely to it. This is where Brendan Benson comes in. His songs have the sugary-sweet pop hooks needed to pick up the Top 40 addicts, as well as complex structures and a small degree of instrumental technicality, a thing needed to gain the anti-popular music group as a fanbase. Comparable in style to Nada Surf and The New Pornographers, the majority of Benson's songs chug along at a somewhat fast pace and contain at least two or three catchy parts sure to be firmly implanted in your head for days.

Speaking of catchy melodies, this album is chock full of them, and not just with the vocals. The guitar, bass, and even the drums all get a chance to shine and prove they can be just as memorable as a vocal line. The distorted, bluesy guitar intro of "Good To Me" might just be the catchiest thing on the album. Bass lines in songs like "You're Quiet" and "I'm Easy" weave around the vocals, creating the perfect double-melody style approach. Indie pop gems like "Tiny Spark" and "Eventually" have every instrument take their turn in the spotlight and play their share of the song, creating a melodic masterpiece in the end.

The only place Lapalco falters is the slow songs. "Jet Lag"is a four-minute piano-driven ballad that goes absolutely nowhere. It's just one idea stretched out long past its welcome. "Life In The D" is almost good, but its pseudo jazz guitar and lack of a strong melody keep it just under par. The only passable venture into the world of ballads is "Just Like Me," a Beatlesesque tune with subtle vocal harmonies and chiming guitars. The song builds as it nears the end, unlike the other two slow songs.

Brendan Benson has created a near-perfect indie pop album with Lapalco, a collection of upbeat, fun tracks mixed with just a few dull, slow ones. Like indie music? Definitely check this album out. Like pop? Get Lapalco. Need guitar solos and double-bass drumming? Go elsewhere, because Lapalco is just a goofy, poppy, hook-laden gem.

Pros
- Catchy!
- Almost every song is good
-Excellent vocal harmonies

Cons
- Slow songs very dull

Rating: 4/5



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user ratings (27)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
The Jungler
June 24th 2006


4826 Comments


Nice short review, and congrats on your first review on this account. All I've heard of Benson is his stuff with The Racounteurs.

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 24th 2006


4405 Comments


This is a good review.

STLMiguel
June 24th 2006


335 Comments


The White Stripes covered "Good to Me" and it is one of their better b-sides. Good stuff!

The Jungler
June 24th 2006


4826 Comments


I'm listening to that song right now, it's really cool.

whj247
June 24th 2006


55 Comments


tiny spark is perfect. some of the other songs kinda suck imo but tiny spark alone makes this great album

La Revolucion
June 24th 2006


1060 Comments


I agree with everything everyone has said so far.

as seen on tv
June 25th 2006


1 Comments


Good review dude. Brendan Benson's song have the ability to get stuck in your head for days at a time.

La Revolucion
August 10th 2006


1060 Comments


Uhhhhh thanks Chan.

jefflebowski
September 27th 2011


8573 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Both this and Alternative to Love deserve way more love

Axel
October 19th 2011


189 Comments


There's something I've been meaning to say to you.

zakalwe
October 24th 2018


39193 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This one was special for me in 2002. Listening to it for the first time in years having forgotten about it and it still holds something.





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