Breaking Benjamin
Shallow Bay: The Best Of Breaking Benjamin


3.5
great

Review

by DeadStarShine USER (3 Reviews)
August 15th, 2011 | 74 replies | 13,576 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hopefully, Breaking Benjamin will now be on their way to better days.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

If we take a look at the reception of the previous records from hard rock band Breaking Benjamin, we shall notice they’ve been praised and condemned for the very same things: praised for the balance between accessibility and competence of playing music and condemned for lack of creativity, repetition in songs’ structures and for a certain tendency to recycle riffs and lyrics. Consequently, we shouldn’t expect something different, especially when the debated album is a greatest hits release.

There is a not a great deal of things to say about CD1. It is simply composed by three singles off each of Breaking Benjamin’s four preceding albums in chronological order, with the exception of the new (and also the single) Blow Me Away. On one hand, it’s not only an unimaginative choice of track listing, but also one undoubtedly designed to sell, as all the singles featured met great mainstream success in their respective time. On the other hand, it’s a helpful organization, since new listeners will be able to know the band step by step and to evaluate the progress made between the efforts. And the progress is indeed manifest. On Saturate immature songs with random instrumentalization like Skin give place to solid tracks like So Cold on We Are Not Alone and The Diary of Jane on Phobia. Furthermore, Ben’s voice, a weak point on the band’s first album and on some songs of the second (e.g the verses of Sooner Or Later), showed its total potential on the aggressiveness of Lights Out or at the melodic Give Me A Sign.

However, the chosen single, a remix of Blow Me Away, featuring Syd Duran from Valora, is a failure. In theory, implementing a woman’s voice in a song like the one question is a good idea. And there’s apparently nothing wrong about it - until the second verse. There might more than one explanation to that, but the fact that Duran’s voice is awful may be a contributing factor. And to think Burnley’s best screams ever are overshadowed by some hysterical screeches.

CD2 is mostly composed of acoustic tracks, live acoustic performances and covers the band has done over the years. Fortunately, Breaking Benjamin is an admirable band when it comes to that kind of things. Who Wants To Live Forever and Enjoy The Silence are two great examples of how competent the band can get when covering other hits. The first of those displays a very nicely done acoustic guitar version of the old success of Queen, while the second is a full band remake of Depeche Mode’s twenty-fourth single. Although the electronic effects in the beginning don’t help at all, Ben’s voice fits incredibly in this song. Live acoustic tracks Breath and Until The End, taken from the performance at the River St. Jazz Cafe just before the release of Dear Agony, are among the best live performances Breaking Benjamin has ever done. Even Ben, who sometimes has troubles achieving all the notes live, sounds extraordinarily good. In contrast, his voice seems at parts forced at the acoustic version of I Will Not Bow. On the other hand, previously unreleased songs Better Days and Lie To Me are consistent efforts that feel like the typical Breaking Benjamin song and are, therefore, inoffensive. Don’t get me wrong as both songs are good enough; but the lack of innovative elements make them effectively fall into the category of unimpressive.

The best thing about all this b-sides is that they make Breaking Benjamin seem alive and diverse. After a consistent, if unimaginative, CD1 and a fresh CD2, showing all these experiments they have made over the years, it’s now a fact that Breaking Benjamin can make good music. Their members (or should I say, former members) are all relatively prominent with their instruments and together they have created some of the best songs mainstream rock have seen in the last nine years. The main issue with them is the laziness on their albums (especially on the latest) on looking to new things to do. That said, hopefully, after Shallow Bay: The Best Of, Breaking Benjamin will be closing a door. Hopefully, Breaking Benjamin will now be on their way to better days.

Recommended tracks:
CD1: So Cold, Give Me A Sign, Breath, Polyamorous
CD2: Enjoy The Silence, Who Wants To Live Forever, Until The End (live acoustic)


user ratings (69)
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3.2
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other reviews of this album
thatdudeud0ntknow (3)
For the most part, Shallow Bay is filled with good tracks-and yet, unless you're a die-hard fan of B...


Comments:Add a Comment 
tarkus
August 15th 2011



5560 Comments


I added this to the database so I could feel cool

Scoot
August 15th 2011



17681 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

why the fuck does this band have a best of collection

Digging: Unjust - Glow

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2011



16134 Comments


Better yet, why is it two discs long?

Emim
August 15th 2011



26508 Comments


You've still got a few formatting errors, bro.

Also this "why the fuck does this band have a best of collection"

Yuma310
August 15th 2011



1656 Comments


pos, and why the fuck does this band have a best of collection [2]

secound disc should have been live dvd, would have made it better

Scoot
August 15th 2011



17681 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AXD-Nr2oFE

like wtf they sound like a battle of the bands winner

DeadStarShine
August 15th 2011



774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Believe me, you don't want a live DVD from them. Ben often disapoints.

I can't explain my rating at this. The second Cd turns things for me.

You've still got a few formatting errors, bro.

If I have any left, please tell me.

Thanks for the pos', guys.

PistolPete
August 15th 2011



3560 Comments


Unbelievable, they didn't even put "Had Enough" on this, one of the better songs from them. I just will never understand this band lol.

I consider "Diary of Jane" one of the better hard rock songs I've heard in general, but so has every other joe blow.

Good review, the one thing I will admit is that BB does write better acoustic songs than Chevelle, there. =)

Digging: Nothing More - Nothing More

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2011



9033 Comments


Disc One sounds really cool

tiesthatbind
August 15th 2011



7371 Comments


They seriously screwed up by not including the original version of Blow Me Away.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

cinaedus
August 15th 2011



26298 Comments


lol

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

RosaParks
August 15th 2011



14592 Comments


this band sucks

DeadStarShine
August 15th 2011



774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Unbelievable, they didn't even put "Had Enough" on this


I believe Had Enough (live acoustic) is featured on the 1 disc version of the release. It's not
featured here because it wasn't a single itself. You can watch/hear it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-bEEhJoqOs

They seriously screwed up by not including the original version of Blow Me Away.


I'm surprised you didn't rate this yet.

tiesthatbind
August 15th 2011



7371 Comments


I'll drop a 3.5 on it. Good review btw.

Acanthus
August 15th 2011



9537 Comments


There. Is. No. "HOME."

Will not get nor listen.

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

DeadStarShine
August 15th 2011



774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

At least take a look on CD2.
Thanks, ttb .

Acanthus
August 15th 2011



9537 Comments


They attempted to cover Depeche Mode?

bloc
August 15th 2011



34679 Comments


I told them it should have been Diary of Jane 16 times and they didn't listen to me : (

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2011



9033 Comments


I'm sorry bloc, it sounds like a good idea to me

TheSpirit
August 15th 2011



17186 Comments


love this band

Digging: vhmnt / blsphm - vhmnt / blsphm



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