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The Alternative to Love

Brendan BensonAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Price: $6.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2009 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2005 $6.99  
Vinyl, 2005 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Spit It Out 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Cold Hands (Warm Heart) 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Feel Like Myself Again 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Alternative to Love 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Pledge 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Them and Me 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Biggest Fan 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Flesh and Bone 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Get It Together 3:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Gold Into Straw 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. What I'm Looking For 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Between Us 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Image of Brendan Benson


Brendan Benson — What Kind of World (Readymade Records)

As much as the story behind Brendan Benson’s fifth solo album is the story of making a record, it is also a story of finding a family — of love, marriage, the birth of a son, and of another kind of family too: one made up of all of the musicians, music-lovers and friends, who have helped to make these songs and ... Read more in Amazon's Brendan Benson Store

Visit Amazon's Brendan Benson Store
for 18 albums, 6 photos, and 4 full streaming songs.

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The Alternative to Love + Lapalco + My Old Familiar Friend
Price for all three: $31.52

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 22, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: V2 North America
  • ASIN: B0007MEYIU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,236 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Brendan Benson is the kind of guy who still sits by the AM radio late at night, spinning the tuning dial from one end to the other in a hopeless search for the perfect pop song. Little does he know he's considerably helped his own plight by making an album full of them. Unlucky in both love and money, the Detroit singer-songwriter has plenty to chew on with his third disc. Using wistful bubblegum melodies and crisp '60s harmonies, in tunes like "Feel Like Myself" and "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" he lashes out at former lovers and A&R men with equal venom. "I always wind up screwed without a kiss," he hisses on the Phil Spector inspired "The Pledge." But, in the end the man who counts Jack White and Beck as devoted fans, knows impending success is the best payback. "Maybe I've been caught red-handed, making off like a lucky bandit/ This wasn't how I planned it," he gloats on the title track. It's really hard to argue. --Aidin Vaziri

Product Description

Detroit's Brendan Benson is neither a singer-songwriter nor a simple pop musician. Brendan Benson is a band. His new album 'The Alternative To Love' is a collection of bittersweet and joyous, epic and memorable, highly contagious songs you can sing along with after one listen. V2. 2005.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Benson finally reaches power pop nirvana April 28, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I feel compelled to write this review after reading Mr Otwell's savage mauling of this album.I don't like to criticise the opinion of others but I really must protest at someone who reckons that Benson has lost his ability to write good music.

The simple truth is that 'Alternative To Love' is a masterpiece.

I already own 'Lapalco' and 'One Mississippi' but I always felt that they were patchy affairs.One or two songs on either album hinted at Benson's talent but over all there were too many half tunes to contend with.

On 'Alternative To Love', Benson really gets it right.

The songs are more straight forward power pop than before.

Musical highlights are many.I especially love the title song 'Alternative To Love'.It's great to hear layer upon layer of harmonies and great guitar work.The harmonica solo is a big bonus as well.I also love 'Biggest Fan'.It's the work of a genius.The keyboard (I think it's a Moog or a Melletron ?) dominates the track.Other highlights for me would be 'Flesh And Bone'.It's a nice melancholic track. Benson achieves the right mix of sadness and joy.

Any non-believers out there should listen to 'I Feel Like Myself Again' to dispel any nagging doubts about this man's genius.This song is an anthem to the power pop generation.It's a song similar to 'Surprise' by Semisonic - an uplifting song about finding your confidence again.A wonderful wonderful optimistic track - everything a power pop song should be.

I was doing a bit of research on this album and I found out that Benson recorded the album and then handed the tapes over to the producer with the instruction to 'fill out' the sound.This was a masterstroke.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's power pop. June 8, 2005
Format:Audio CD
It's power pop. People that listen to music and focus on the "atrocious" lyrics seem to be missing the point of pop music: it's catchy, hummable and happy. Certainly there were people back in the day who despised the ambiguity of early Beatles lyrics (" 'I want to hold your hand'? WHOSE hand!?") but anyone with their head on straight won't dispute the music's enduring nature. Philosophize all you want, but Benson's cheap tricks here are designed merely to entertain, and they accomplish just that. He just wants you to want him. He needs you to need him. He... well, you get the point.

Frankly, it's easy to see how Jack White from the White Stripes claims Benson as an influence with quirky, bouncy tunes like the title track "Alternative to Love" peppering this release. Although Benson's music is pop devoid of the blues-aping garage rock that defines the White Stripes, Benson and White are kindred souls in terms of their oddball nature. Both essentially write quirky pop songs; Benson's are more complex. Consider Benson to be the Rubik's Cube to the White Stripes' Whack-A-Mole.

Four strong tracks open the disc: "Spit It Out"'s restrained guitar strums and twee sound effects give way to a soaring jack-in-the-box chorus; "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" is a twinkling headbobber in the fine tradition of popsmiths everywhere; the straightforward "I Feel Like Myself Again" with its backhand-to-the-face chord changes and yet another singalong chorus demand the listener's attention, and the aforementioned title track sounds like the soundtrack to furry little animals dancing in a forest somewhere. If that scenario bothers you thematically, just mentally cut the chorus out and paste it over a Tarantino torture scene. There, that's better.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Power-Pop Gem From Benson! March 23, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I miss the Jellyfish days so much, and the Posies have had their day as well, so usher in the new wave of Power Pop masterminds and welcome the 3rd major release for Brendan. I've been a fan since the "One Mississippi' days (since Jason Falkner helped him out) and he's been great ever since. I was surprised to see Falkner wasn't assisting with Alternative to Love, but it's good to see that Brendan knows how to carry the weight on his own too. This is another of the best albums I've heard so far this year; punchy, vibrant, solid production. Now I just can't wait to see what he and Jack White have been stirring up! Check this disc out for sure!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definately An Alternative... January 11, 2006
By daniel
Format:Audio CD
The main reason i bought this cd was because i had read that it was co-produced by Jack White of the White Stripes, and that Benson would soon be starting a side-band with White. Also because Benson had fans of the likes of Beck and Jack White. I was shocked to find out that Jack had nothing to do with this cd, but pleases altogether with what i was listening to.

'Spit It Out' is definately the catchiest song but seems unlike anything else on the album. Other excellent accoustic offerings include 'Feel Like Myself' and the title track 'The Alternative To Love'.

This cd does move into territory of power-pop status and for this reason is much more listenable. The lyrics are good, and clever on certain songs, and the instrumentation compliments the overall effect of the cd.

Give it a go, you'll enjoy it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe It'll Grow On Me March 30, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I love Lapalco, and thought One Miss was OK.

While this album is better than most others you'd pick up, I think the songs aren't as strong as on Lapalco, and that the album gets kind of sluggish in the middle.

I hope it grows on me, but all in all I expected to like this more than I do.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Go get this CD!
If you are looking for something really good and have never listened to Brendan Benson, get all four of his albums. Read more
Published on March 22, 2012 by nanook599
5.0 out of 5 stars An Alternative to Tedium
Brendan Benson's "Alternative to Love" can simply be summed up as brilliant. I am, admittedly, fairly new to Benson's work, but had a surprisingly lovely introduction to it the... Read more
Published on July 6, 2008 by Becca
4.0 out of 5 stars Instant winner!
This disc came up in the best of 2006. Certainly it is in my top five. Always wanted to have a listen but had no access to the net. Read more
Published on April 4, 2007 by D. Parle
5.0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This CD is one of the few that my husband and I both love. Highly recommended!
Published on January 15, 2007 by Sadie
2.0 out of 5 stars Way Overrated
This stuff isn't that good. There are a couple Cars-eque rockers that are cool but other than that I don't see what the big fuss is about? Read more
Published on August 31, 2006 by The Ox
4.0 out of 5 stars The alternative to cookie cutter music
Brendan Benson is a breath of fresh air. From the opening offering of power pop delight (Spit It Out), to a whimsical tribute to his love for The Monkee's on the title track, this... Read more
Published on January 7, 2006 by T-Bone
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad song on the CD!
I'd never heard of Brendan Benson until I heard him on NPR's All Songs Considered. I was instantly hooked! Read more
Published on November 15, 2005 by Rick Broida
5.0 out of 5 stars Power Pop the way its meant to be played
Each decade has a handful of power pop icons to call its own, each working from the template that the Beatles and the Who constructed in the '60s, adhering to that melodic,... Read more
Published on June 24, 2005 by Argyllsox
4.0 out of 5 stars It will grow on you
This was my first experience with Brendan Benson. I bought this record due to the fact I love Jason Falkner and heard they'd worked together. Read more
Published on June 5, 2005 by Lee C. Kohler
5.0 out of 5 stars I HEART BRENDAN BENSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I found out about Brendan because he was opening for Keane. I went into it having no idea who he was and the minute he started to play I was hooked! This guy knows how to rock! Read more
Published on May 11, 2005 by Bird
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