Brian M. Raftery
March 15, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

Packing an even bigger wallop than his unjustifiably ignored ’96 debut, Benson’s latest is a hook-heavy display of pliable pop-smarts. Two songs alone justify lapping up Lapalco: the chugging, soulful opener, ”Tiny Spark,” followed by the sleepy-eyed Beatles tribute ”Metarie” (think Paul on guitar, John on Prozac) — and it gets even better from there. A must-have for anyone in need of a good sing-along.

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