Brendan Benson is a genuine American voice. A co-founding member of The Raconteurs, Benson has released critically-acclaimed albums throughout the past decade. The songs come rough-hewn but charged with hooks and wit on 1996's One Mississippi. 2002's Lapalco brought perfect pop ripeness. On The Alternative to Love in 2005, there was something quite brilliant, quite burnished about his songwriting. This year's offering, My Old, Familiar Friend, gathers all of these influences -- the Americanness, the Anglophile twist, the geography, the rock and the pop -- and creates something truly exceptional.