Lapalco, that record, is a top-notch power-pop disc, nearly as good as the pair made by Benson's occasional writing partner Jason Falkner--tuneful, funny, sad, cozy, dorky, a little sexy. As in Falkner's stuff, its link to the past is something you won't be able to ignore (if that's important to you), but that doesn't mean it won't sound totally right on the drive home: "I know a guy, lives in Los Angeles," Benson sings to himself on the pretty "Metarie." "Sometimes his life there makes me so jealous." For better or worse, it's small, well-made music designed for a small, appreciative audience, which is why it's so nice to see that the small, smart Brooklyn label StarTime International has issued it, instead of another gigantic corporation that'd surely forget the record the week after its release and probably had no idea who'd like it in the first place. Indie rock was invented to save guys like Benson from the kind of fate he nearly met; come see how much fun self-reliance can be.