The Alternative to Love
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorite artists. Excellent singer-songwriter.Published 14 months ago by Throwbacks Collector
If you are looking for something really good and have never listened to Brendan Benson, get all four of his albums. Read morePublished on March 22, 2012 by nanook599
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 morePublished on April 4, 2007 by D. Parle
This CD is one of the few that my husband and I both love. Highly recommended!Published on January 15, 2007 by Sadie
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 morePublished on August 31, 2006 by The Ox
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. Read morePublished on January 11, 2006 by daniel
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 morePublished on January 7, 2006 by T-Bone
I'd never heard of Brendan Benson until I heard him on NPR's All Songs Considered. I was instantly hooked! Read morePublished on November 15, 2005 by R-Bro
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 morePublished on June 24, 2005 by Argyllsox