Brendan Benson has released DEAR LIFE , his first solo LP in seven years, today via Third Man Records. Stream it HERE , and purchase the physical version HERE . A hot pink vinyl version will be available at select indie record stores (photo below). A Barnes & Noble exclusive edition is also available now on black vinyl with an alternate LP cover poster.
Benson’s seventh solo album and first full-length release via Third Man, DEAR LIFE has been met with immediate acclaim. SPIN said that "[ DEAR LIFE ]... sounds more contented than the anxious and energetic twentysomething Benson who made his debut on 1996’s One Mississippi, " and Magnet Magazine enthused that the album is “a busy snapshot of Benson at his most cautiously optimistic and emotionally direct." Even more love came in from his adopted hometown of Nashville, with The Tennessean calling DEAR LIFE , "An 11-song concoction of power pop experimentation flavored by unabashed fatherhood and sprinkled with punk rock,” and Nashville Scene raving, “With nary a bar that isn’t trying to burrow deep into your ear hole, DEAR LIFE shoves a humanist, heartwarming philosophy in the face of life’s letdowns and indignities."
DEAR LIFE was heralded by the rhapsodic first single “Good T o Be Alive.” BrooklynVegan praised its "'70s singer-songwriter verses and synthpop-y choruses." American Songwriter lauded the album as a whole, calling it "a collection of electrified and harmoniously erratic arrangements only Benson could concoct with 11 songs encapsulating his dynamic songwriting, bound by tight hooks and digitized beats." New track "Richest Man" followed shortly after, which Rolling Stone praised as "a charming ode to family life."
Benson has been live-streaming a song from his Instagram every day as part of his "Boy In A Bubble" series -- tune in at 4:20pm CT every day HERE . Today's edition will consist of a special extended play-through of all of DEAR LIFE .
WATCH THE "RICHEST MAN" VIDEO
WATCH THE "GOOD TO BE ALIVE" VIDEO
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. DEAR LIFE marks 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. 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. The result is an untapped playfulness that elevates expertly crafted songs like the future funk-fueled opener, “I Can If You Want Me To,” and the ecstatic “Richest Man Alive” with voluble arrangements, elastic grooves, and incandescent power. Imbued with revitalized ambition and confidence, DEAR LIFE is Brendan Benson at his very best.
“There's something about this record,” Benson says. “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.”
(Third Man Records)
I Can If You Want Me To
Good To Be Alive
Half A Boy (And Half A Man)
I’m In Love
Who’s Gonna Love You