Benson Readies 'Love,' Records With White

Detroit-based pop/rocker Brendan Benson is gearing up for a big 2005.

Detroit-based pop/rocker Brendan Benson is gearing up for a big 2005. His new solo album, "The Alternative to Love," is set to be released in March via V2 Records, and amidst an anticipated heavy slate of touring, Benson hopes to release a duo record he's been working on with Jack White of the White Stripes.

"The Alternative to Love" is the follow-up to 2002's critically acclaimed "Lapalco" (Startime International), and was recorded entirely at Benson's home studio in Detroit's Belle Isle neighborhood. Rocking album opener "Spit It Out," bittersweet breakup song "Between Us" and the convoluted but catchy title track highlight the set.

Benson plays all instruments, but he had help in the "Alternative" sessions from drummer Matt Elgin and harmonica player/backing vocalist Chris Plum, among others. Benson tells that working in his home studio affords him the opportunity to continually tweak songs-in-progress as fancy strikes.

"I also like to paint, and in painting it's very obvious to me when to stop," he explains. "But in music I don't know when to stop. I can't resist that compulsion. In the end it might be the kitchen sink in that song, but I think it's still going to have life just because I had so much fun doing it."

Neighbor White is another collaborator who's been spending a lot of time at Benson's house lately. Benson says the pair is putting finishing touches on a collaborative album recorded with Greenhornes bassist Jack Lawrence and drummer Patrick Keeler that will hopefully see release sometime next year.

"It's kind of a little of everything," he says of the album. "I've got songs that I've pretty much written and he added lyrics to it. And he brought some songs, or actually made a bunch of 'em up on the spot. It's cool, different stuff. Some of it sounds like Jack and some of it just sounds like Cat Stevens or something."