Thursday, November 4, 2010
Breaking Benjamin - We Are Not Alone (2004)
A strong alt-rock sensibility and a very tight grasp on commercial appeal make this album utterly listenable and completely enjoyable, though it does wear thin on a few songs.
Most will remember this album for its lead single So Cold, the single that propelled Breaking Benjamin to lasting fame. For the most part, the rest of the album is quite different. Ben Burnley's distinctive howl is still all over the place, and is honestly one of the most memorable things about the band -- because the rest of the band sure isn't doing anything too risky.
This album is great, and easy to listen to. And that's mostly because it relies very, very strongly on formulaic roots and sounds familiar to anyone who's had exposure to this sort of music before. This is to be expected, somewhat -- Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan did help out in the studio on this album, after all.
The crunchy riffs the band lays down rock, and they rock hard. You'll want to move to this music. Its high points - like the aforementioned So Cold, the melancholic Break My Fall, and the anthemic Follow - put the disc firmly into "instant classic" territory. Unfortunately, formula catches up, and relatively boring, same-y cuts like Breakdown and Forget It retread familiar ground just a bit too much, bringing the album's feet back down into the realm of the solid effort.
Standout Tracks - So Cold, Follow