The Alternative To Love

  • Record Label: V2
  • Release Date: Mar 22, 2005

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Magnet
    An instant power-pop classic. [#67, p.84]
  2. 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.
  3. Under The Radar
    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. 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.
  5. Uncut
    Impossible not to love. [Apr 2005, p.110]
  6. A realistic, delightful and emotionally accessible record.
  7. 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.
  8. Mojo
    This is a terrific ride. [Apr 2005, p.88]
  9. Q Magazine
    An album of great craft, emotion and warmth. [Apr 2005, p.125]
  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. Doesn’t sport as many memorable tunes as 2002’s Lapalco.
  12. 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.
  13. His melodic gifts remain undeniable on this charming third album.
  14. Blender
    He switches styles and moods nearly every song, but his caramel harmonies and swirling guitars are reliable constants. [Apr 2005, p.113]
  15. There's an amiable simplicity to Benson's songs that translates to likeability.
  16. New Musical Express (NME)
    This is a lovely record. [12 Mar 2005, p.58]
  17. Entertainment Weekly
    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. Spin
    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]

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. BenB
    May 21, 2006
    Just give it a few spins see if you can resist.
  2. katieb
    Jul 2, 2005
    Go buy it now, a well crafted alternative, rock, pop(but how pop should be) album. Very good record, has some flaws (wasn't sure of Go buy it now, a well crafted alternative, rock, pop(but how pop should be) album. Very good record, has some flaws (wasn't sure of Tchad Blake's mixing, but it gets better with more listens). Thought the songs sounded better when I heard them at an acoustic gig and they had more pace and the lyrics punched out. I was a bit disappointed when i heard the album initially. However it still a great record, he just sets unbelievably high standards. Lapalco, and One Missippi exceed it, they sound effortless (more like live brendan benson) and have a better pace. Full Review »
  3. DanB.
    Jun 26, 2005
    Not as good as the previous disc. :o/