Jay Bennett, 'Kicking at the Perfumed Air' (Rock Proper)

Kicking at the Perfumed Air
Critical Mass
Label: Rock Proper

by David Menconi

Bennett was finishing up Kicking at the Perfumed Air when he died last year, and it comes with all the requisite intimations of mortality. The ex-Wilco member gets in touch with his inner Mark Eitzel, contrasting spare hooks and sonics with operatic barfly pathos. And the finale will break your heart: "Beer," in which Bennett looks back with regret while downing 14 cold ones. "Think I'll crash my car / Then I'll become a star / Overnight," he croons in an exhausted murmur, his voice catching on the last word. A perfect exit, stage left.

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