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We Are Not Alone

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Album Review

On We Are Not Alone, Breaking Benjamin's sophomore effort for Hollywood, the Philadelphia quartet still enjoys coursing the downcast dynamics and dour cerebrals of early Tool through post-grunge's more accessible melodics. Vocalist/guitarist Ben Burnley channels Maynard James Keenan throughout "So Cold" and "Simple Design," and fills their shadows with scary roars. But the choruses are as uplifting and hopeful as anything from 3 Doors Down, and the latter even features a quiet acoustic interlude. It's this baiting of the darker mental animal while realizing the power of a cool hard rock riff that drives We Are Not Alone. "Why am I so pathetic?" asks Burnley in "Sooner or Later." "Help me break my conscience in," goes "Break My Fall," "To free us from our innocence." Both cuts stick to the familiar formula of introducing huge chords before dwelling on the personal struggle in the verses, only to surge toward hopeful choruses. In this, Breaking Benjamin is quite capable. They understand that it can't be all gloom and doom all the time — that the people need some light at the end of the tunnel. Alone's choruses offer that urgency throughout, but "Forget It" takes it to heart. With its whispering synthesizers, layered guitar effects (Billy Corgan guests), and filtered harmonies, the cut is a warm departure from the album's bruised push forward. We Are Not Alone has its moments of genre-aping filler, and Burnley's delivery does at times seem forced — he just sounds so much like his peers. But We Are Not Alone is still a solid second effort, with plenty of appeal for fans of groups like Crossfade, Default, and Smile Empty Soul.

Customer Reviews

Give them justice

Breaking Benjamin (BB) are not a derivative band. True they are not reinventing the wheel of music but the sound they make is original. If you are tired of listening to mainstream radio because it has a repertoire (range) of 15 songs that they play constantly over and over again for 5 weeks before changing 1 song on that list, then listen to BB. Yes, some of their songs will have a familiar sound, however, songs like phase, blow me away, diary of jane, firefly, so cold, rain and many more are all great unique songs (not all those songs are on this album...go buy BB's other albums!!). The itunes appraisal is right in one sense: the songs that do have a familiar sound to them are played and sung so well you can't help but give it up for them!

Biography

Formed: 2000 in Wilkes-Barre, PA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

In late 2000, guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark James Klepaski made a surprising and unexpected decision: they left Lifer, an alternative metal band that was signed to Universal and was gaining commercial acceptance. Fink and Klepaski departed Lifer (which was originally called Strangers with Candy) so that they could join forces with singer Ben Burnley and drummer Jeremy Hummel and form Breaking Benjamin. Why would Fink and Klepaski leave a band that had a contract with Universal to form a new...
Full Bio
We Are Not Alone, Breaking Benjamin
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