Metarie Extended Player
With a year and a half of practically non-stop touring behind him, Detroit native Brendan Benson hasn’t had much time to record a proper follow-up to his brilliant 2002 disc Lapalco. So this five-song EP will have to serve as a placeholder. Of course since Benson took six years to follow up his first record, 1996’s One Mississippi, you might not want to hold your breath anyway.
Benson is one of those DIY pop geniuses who simply takes his time until he has the best collection of songs. He recorded Lapalco with only his pal and fellow pop genius Jason Falkner for support. Here Benson gets a little help from his touring band the Well-Fed Boys on a newly recorded version of the Lapalco track “Metarie,” which sports a spiffy new bridge section. This is Benson at his bittersweet, self-deprecating best. “Met a girl / Introduced myself / Asked her to go with me / And no one else,” he sings. But the girl’s response isn’t quite what he hoped: “You need a bath / Your clothes are wrong / You’re not my type / Know we wouldn’t get along.” -wm As for the other tracks contained here, the EP includes a second non-album “U.K. version” of “Metarie.” There’s also a new version of “You’re Quiet,” which doesn’t add much to the Lapalco original besides an unnecessary expletive. The repetitive, acoustic number “Alternative to Love” is really the only new track here, and unfortunately it’s not one of Benson’s strongest tunes. What may make this EP worth it for Benson fans who may be on the fence is his cover of Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It,” which has become a concert staple.
Sure this EP merely treads water and doesn’t really break any new ground. But a little more Brendan Benson product in the marketplace can’t be a bad thing. Fellow Detroit native Jack White (of the White Stripes) is a fan. You should be too.