Is it rock and roll? Is it power pop? Is it singer-songwriter AAA? As XTC said “This is pop! Yeah Yeah!” Best known as Jack White’s wingman in The Raconteurs, Brendan Benson has quietly, if sporadically, been making effortlessely well crafted pop records since 1996. It was a tossup between this one and the previous Lapalco, but Alternative to Love gets the nod based on the McCartney-esque “Cold Hands (Warm Heart)” and the Spector-meets-Fountains of Wayne brilliance of “The Pledge”.