Quiet Company
We Are All Where We Belong


4.5
superb

Review

by PorkchopExpress USER (37 Reviews)
December 7th, 2011 | 30 replies | 6,749 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Allow me to introduce you to your favorite album you haven't heard yet.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Austin's Quiet Company have been putting out solid, independently-released albums for over five years now. Constant touring has given them a small but rabid fan base in their native Texas and all over the US. In 2010, they gained even more attention by playing well-received sets at SXSW, and with the release of their new album--quite possibly the most accomplished indie-pop album of 2011--they've ensured that fan base will continue to grow.

Quiet Company is the brainchild of Taylor Muse, whose ability as a songwriter and a lyricist continues to grow with every album. I'll get to the lyrics shortly, but first I want to concentrate on the music itself. Opening track, "The Confessor", lays the groundwork for the entire album. Starting with a slow, quiet guitar strum, Muse's Ben Gibbard-like vocals finally kick in and ease the song into existence. As the song continues, backing "oohs" and "ahhs" begin filling the song out, until the guitar drops completely out, leaving simply the piano and Muse's vocals to move the song along for a short time. Suddenly, the piano is overtaken by a huge horn section, drums, and when the backing vocals kick back in, it becomes this joyous, sing-along anthem before finally coming to a close. And that's this album in a nutshell. Pretty much every song includes everything-but-the-kitchen-sink instumentation that somehow never sounds cluttered due to fantastic arrangement by producer Tim Palmer (whose previous work includes U2 and Pearl Jam). And Muse certainly has a way with a hook, with every song pretty much forcing the listener to sing along. It's all but impossible not to.

Not every song follows the quiet/loud template. Second track, "You, Me, and the Boatman" starts with a peppy, buzzing guitar from the start. Muse even flexes his ability as a vocalist, getting impressively screamy toward the mid-point, before turning on a dime and hitting the earworm of a chorus. "Are You A Mirror" is carried by a gentle acoustic guitar for a majority, before bursting at the seams with hand-claps, horns, and some synths toward the end. They even do a handful of songs that stay quiet. In fact, the one minor issue I have with the album is the fact that the pacing could have been a little bit better. The final third of the album runs a bit on the low-tempo side, but overall it does nothing to harm the album.

Finally, back to the lyrics. Muse has always had a way with clever turns-of-phrase, but it's obvious that lyrically this is his most personal album. Every song deals with acceptance of eventual death, morals and religion, but it's a far cry from a Christian-rock album, as most of the time it's talking about lapsed faith, not depending on a greater power, and making your own way in life. He's got the lyrical strengths of The Decemberists Colin Meloy, in that the whole album follows a thematic package, and with an expanded vocabulary. An example of all of this in one song would be on lead single "Fear And Fallacy Sitting In A Tree", with the lyrics "So let's bow our heads....for something, pray that god is on our side/But the pagan and the pious, they all sound the same/Oh my god! Oh my god! /The problem with me and the problem with you, is that we're all just so scared to die" before repeating "I know my time is coming/can't keep my time from coming", only in a way that makes you feel alright to hear. Death is unavoidable, might as well enjoy our time while we're here. Which is nothing new in music, but that doesn't mean it still can't sound awesome to hear. Which is pretty much the story of Quiet Company. A direct line can be drawn to most of their musical influences easily, but they still manage to sound fresh and distinct. They've worked hard to create a dedicated following, and I think it would be hard for anyone who listens to this album to not become another member of it. I can easily see this album breaking the band to a wide audience. Whether that happens or not, all of that work has still paid off, as anyone who owns this album could tell you.

Key Tracks:
You, Me and the Boatman
Fear And Fallacy, Sitting in a Tree
Are You A Mirror?
The Black Sheep & The Shepherd
The Easy Confidence



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
PorkchopExpress
December 7th 2011



387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow, this turned out pretty long. I've been holding off on writing a review for this for months, as I wanted to do it justice. It's in my top five of 2011, without a doubt. And this is a band I could see a LOT of Sputnik users digging, so I hope some of you check it out.

Here's their Bandcamp page where you can stream the whole thing:

http://quietcompany.bandcamp.com/album/we-are-all-where-we-belong

WashboardSuds
December 7th 2011



4993 Comments


nice reiview, sounds like something I would like. shall check this out later

Digging: Gas - Nah und Fern

CasinoColumbus
December 7th 2011



340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"nice reiview, sounds like something I would like. shall check this out now"

more like this.

wacknizzle
December 7th 2011



12998 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review, thanks for informing me of this band. This is wonderful so far.

Digging: Polyptych - Illusorium

PorkchopExpress
December 7th 2011



387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks everyone. And I'm really, really glad to hear you like it.

bakkermaarten007
December 7th 2011



3422 Comments


At first listen this sounds very good. Thanks for introducing me.

thatoneguy726
December 7th 2011



1632 Comments


wow. itunes samples sound incredible. i'll for sure be checking this out

PorkchopExpress
December 7th 2011



387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nevermind this...I'm just going to link it into my original comment.

QuietCompany
December 7th 2011



1 Comments


Thank you for the incredible album review, Eric.
If you would like to hear the album for yourself, swing by our Bandcamp page where you can stream it in full, and for the month of December we have it onsale there for only $5! http://quietcompany.bandcamp.com/album/we-are-all-where-we-belong
I hope you'll check it out & please befriend us on twitter & Facebook!
Thanks,
Paul / Quiet Company
www.quietcompanymusic.com
www.twitter.com/quietcompany
www.facebook.com/quietcompany


PorkchopExpress
December 7th 2011



387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, this was certainly unexpected. And awesome.

CasinoColumbus
December 7th 2011



340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, this is good. I really like the album art by the way.

PorkchopExpress
December 7th 2011



387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, the art is really cool. There's somewhere (Twitter or their official page) where it's animated and the waves move as the little boatman rides across. It threw me the first time I saw it.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2011



15893 Comments


nice find. im already enjoying this.

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

iambandersnatch
December 7th 2011



1472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

liking this so far

PorkchopExpress
December 8th 2011



387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm glad to see that the review has gotten some of you to check the album out, but more than that I'm glad to see that it's getting positive reactions. This album pretty soundtracked my entire October and first half of November.

DurzoBlint
December 8th 2011



1175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dam this album rules >_>

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2011



15893 Comments


freaking sweet album. loving this.

PorkchopExpress
December 9th 2011



387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad you dig it Sowing. Also, I just realized you're staff now (and perhaps have been for a while, I'm an incredibly non-observant person). Congrats.

iambandersnatch
December 11th 2011



1472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So this should get a "best new music" feature.
Better than a lot of the stuff that gets thrown on there..
Looking at you, mods.

PorkchopExpress
December 11th 2011



387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wish I had gotten the review up sooner, but I was so into this the first few weeks I had it the review would have essentially been:

"Summary: This album is SO good. Oh my god, oh my god..."

"[cums]"

So I sat on it for a while. But I would like to see this get a BNM feature, even if it were off of a review written by someone who's bit better at writing reviews than I am. This is one of those albums I could see a lot of Sputnik users really liking.




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