Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Brendan Benson :: The Alternative To Love

Brendan Benson's long awaited third full length release and follow up to 2002's "Lapulco" delivers exactly what fans have come to expect from his records. From start to finish it is an entertaining and catchy offering of contemporary pop/rock songs. Benson is one of those songwriters who is quite bankable in his consistency of high quality, incredibly listenable and enjoyable output. His failing, (if it could be called that), like so many of his peers, is his inability to get the right push from the right label in a steady and sensible way. For if that piece of the puzzle fell into place, he could easily find his name in the same breath as those who speak of Ryan Adams, Josh Rouse, Mathew Sweet, & the Shins.
Yes Bredan Benson is one of those sorely overlooked and underrated songwriters that you've probably never heard - in spite of bouncing from on major to the next over the last decade. "The Alternative To Love" is a joy to experience. Benson's heartfelt and smart lyrics wed his infectious and addictive melodies in a style that is not too polished or overly produced. This record asks you to take no leaps of faith. There are no hurdles to get over. His voice is instantly assimilated and does not stand in the way of his message and melody, like so many of his contemporaries. Fans of his debut release "One Mississippi", (arguably the dustiest pop masterpiece in the virgin records warehouse of tax write-offs), will not be disappointed. "The Alternative To Love" may not raise the bar he set on that record, but it certainly duplicates the feat with a sugary and delightful smoothness and power.

The Alternative to Love