Like a mangled love child created via a brutal ganbang involving a Seventies’ Brit band and Nineties’ American paino-rock artist, ‘Cold Hands’ limps from its gentle cradle into the very front of your brain, staying there for longer than you initially wanted.
Having found chart success with Jack White’s Raconteurs, Brendan Benson has finally achieved the mainstream popularity that his solo work has merited for a number of years. After five full-length albums and two EP’s Benson is yet to break into the US top 100 with his solo recordings, and with tracks like ‘Cold Hands’ the mind boggles as to how his individual attacks on the charts haven’t garnered as much success. The track starts as it means to go on with raw drums, gentle jingles and soft vocals reminiscent of Ben Folds or even Paul McCartney, providing a simplicity which is as catchy as it is refreshing. In a world of music where production has clipped the wings of emotive song-writing, or at least buffed and polished them, it is great just to hear an honest, naked song like ‘Cold Hands’. A tale of relationship woes and sexual incompatibility, the track’s gentle tempo and basic structure help the listeners to empathise with the emptiness of Benson. No flips and tricks with this one, just a pop-rock song with classic influences that combines a catchy chorus with a strong vocal to create a conscientious work that after seven years stands up well to modern day equivalents.