The Alternative To Love - Brendan Benson
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 100
    The Alternative to Love is tipped to be his big breakthrough album, and it's easy to see why. It's full of bright '70s power-pop choruses, infectious guitar riffs and the kind of laid-back breeziness that suggests most of these songs came to him in his sleep.
  2. 100
    An instant power-pop classic. [#67, p.84]
  3. The songs all sound cleaner and tighter than those off the critically praised Lapalco, but instead of over-produced banality you're left with pure pop perfection. [#9]
  4. 90
    Impossible not to love. [Apr 2005, p.110]
  5. Perhaps it doesn't have the kinetic energy or sense of adventure that mark the genre's true classics from No Dice till Girlfriend, but Alternative to Love also exists in an era that's enamored with the past and doesn't take many risks, and on those terms, it's the perfect power pop album for its decade.
  6. 80
    This is a terrific ride. [Apr 2005, p.88]
  7. An album of great craft, emotion and warmth. [Apr 2005, p.125]
  8. A realistic, delightful and emotionally accessible record.
  9. He's as bright and breezy as Evan Dando one moment, as resplendent as Phil Spector the next, and you could pit his bubblegum choruses against 1960s classics.
  10. Although Tchad Blake's mixing is a fabulous constant, his consistency means the weaker tracks are revealed for what they are: solid formula-followers lacking the elusive intangible charm that an unexpected note or rhythmic tic can bring.
  11. This is a lovely record. [12 Mar 2005, p.58]
  12. 70
    He switches styles and moods nearly every song, but his caramel harmonies and swirling guitars are reliable constants. [Apr 2005, p.113]
  13. His melodic gifts remain undeniable on this charming third album.
  14. The Alternative To Love to be a quality rock album that covers several genres in influence and doesn't deserve to be punished for not being as good as its predecessor.
  15. Doesn’t sport as many memorable tunes as 2002’s Lapalco.
  16. There's an amiable simplicity to Benson's songs that translates to likeability.
  17. The heightened production values... sacrifice a bit of Benson's scrappy charm, but they also yield several sparkling should-be hits. [25 Mar 2005, p.71]
  18. 67
    He's great with the hook-meoldy algebra, not so hot on figuring out what to say beyond "Love, blah, blah, blah, la, la, la." [Apr 2005, p.108]
  19. What he doesn’t have, but desperately needs, is a little of bit of grit.
  20. Unfortunately, everything is so finely polished on Alternative To Love that his brand of rock lacks any grit. [Apr 2005, p.124]
  21. Benson doesn't win any points for innovation, but his deft musicianship and confident vocal presence are sure to please those who never tire of a good tune. [Apr/May 2005, p.137]

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