Review Summary: Technically their best release yet, but it misses the heart and enthusiasm of their previous efforts.
My Perception is already the third album by Belgian superstars The Black Box Revelation. And they made it very clear: the goal with this album is to conquer The States. To achieve this goal, they pulled out all the stops: they signed with American label C.E.M., went recording in sunny LA, attracted Alain Johannes as producer (the guy also produced albums for Queens of the Stone Age and Mark Lanegan) and later this year they are going on tour all across the USA.
But the question is: will they succeed? Personally, I think they won't on the strength of this album alone. Because although production wise this is their best album yet, the problem I saw with their first two efforts remains: their catchy and mean blues rock is hardly anything new. What's even worse is that My Perception doesn't evoke as much excitement as the previous two albums did. There's nothing wrong with taking influence from other (blues) rock bands - especially bands like The Rolling Stones, The Stooges, Neil Young or The Black Keys. But you have to give it a twist and make it yours. And that's the biggest problem with My Perception: it sounds fake. It's The Black Box Revelation not taking influence from other bands but just playing bland covers of those bands.
Album opener "Madhouse" is blatant posering, title track "My Perception" is average Rolling Stones but with added cowbell and "2 Young Boys" starts with a promising and heavier type of riff, but the clichÃ©d lyrics combined with the uninspired middle section make that the song doesn't go anywhere in the end. No, it's the slower atmospherical songs that are the highlights this time around. On "White Unicorns" guitarist Jan Paternoster gets plenty of room to passionately showcase his solo skills and "New Sun" is ideally suited to gently fall asleep to while laying next to the campfire. But again, while the slower highlights can hardly be called bad, they just follow the standard Black Box Revelation formula for slow burners a bit too nicely.
In the end it all comes down to this: The Black Box Revelation isn't a studio band, it's primarily a live band. Creating full-length records isn't their strength as they show with My Perception. But you can count on it that rockers like "Rattle My Heart", "Shadowman" and even "Madhouse" - although they may not sound as impressive as their earlier stuff - will be superb additions to their live set. Which still doesn't make this album better in itself, sadly. So, will they succeed in conquering the US of A with My Perception? Personally, I think they won't but let's wait and see...
Official album stream: