ImageBrendan Benson's new album, The Alternative to Love (V2), features a dozen strong pop-rock songs, but the incandescent break-up ballad "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" is currently stuck on repeat at EE HQ.  Fortified by a chiming guitar hook and elegiac melody, it's a stunner. With so much "adult-skewing" pop sinking into melodrama, it's heartening to hear something that packs an emotional wallop without using a sledgehammer.