Anchor & Braille
The Quiet Life


2.5
average

Review

by Matt Harrison CONTRIBUTOR (20 Reviews)
July 1st, 2013 | 23 replies | 1,391 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Patron Saint, are we all lost like you?

If there's one thing every artist who embarks on a side project has to deal with it's the inevitable comparisons that will be made between his/her past material (I hesitate to use the term "main act" because when side projects become their full time gig--see Aaron Gillespie of The Almost as a terrible example of this--well, that main act ceases to be as such) and the said side project. This is especially the case with vocalists who set out to ditch the band for solo undertakings. The voice isn't something so easily malleable, nor is it noncommittal. It has identity and that persona in many ways defines and brands everything the artist does. It's the reason people either love or hate Thom Yorke's Eraser; because as much as he may have tried to remove himself from Radiohead, his voice is too iconic to achieve that, and you'll either hate that fact or love it simply if you hate or love his voice. But it's a shame, really, because this overshadowing often distracts the listener from some truly great music when all he/she can think of is "this just sounds exactly like [insert album of perceived identical vocals]." And unfortunately, Anberlin frontman Stephen Christian's latest solo album The Quiet Life is plagued by the same problem. But it didn't have to be.

There is a point when the musical statement is loud enough to set it apart no matter how definitive the vocals are. And it's what Felt came so close to achieving. The tracks "Sleep. When We Die." and "Sheet Music. Sheet Music" were beautiful piano ballads that revealed Stephen Christian to be not as Anberlin-shackled as perhaps expected. In the end, though, there were too many tracks that played it safe and sounded more like Anberlin b-sides than the output of a separate entity.

The Quiet Life just further accentuates this problem and what is so frustrating is that it came so close to not. The opener "Goes Without Saying" introduced a sort of M83 infused dream pop and oh, what possibilities there could have been with a record that took that and ran. It's exactly the type of thing that plays off Stephen's voice so well too. The airy falsetto soars with rain drop synth on the uplifting opener and makes the listener wonder why he didn't explore this refreshing new spin sooner. So it "goes without saying" that I was just a little bit excited to continue on through the new, delightfully uncharted territory. What was so painfully betraying, however, was that the second track continued the trend as well, but what followed in the remaining eight tracks were slow-moving alt-rock tracks that we've heard time and time again on the more mellow end of Anberlin's discography.

But what is perhaps most disconcerting of all is just how lost Christian must have been upon writing this record. There were truly moments of greatest in the first few minutes of the album, and the potential was there to create a record that held its own with the grandiose Cities, while remaining a completely distinct product from anything Anberlin. Maybe he simply wasn't confident with the dream pop sensibilities and instead opted by attempting to recreate what was successful with Felt. Whatever the case, I truly hope he explores this direction on future endeavors. It's about time a comparison to Cities was a compliment.



Recent reviews by this author
My Brightest Diamond None More Than YouKishi Bashi Lighght
Laurel Halo Chance of RainHe Is Legend I Am Hollywood
Noah Gundersen LedgesSon Lux Lanterns
user ratings (45)
Chart.
3.6
great
related reviews

Felt

Comments:Add a Comment 
YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2013



1639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm actually pretty proud of this one. I hope it comes off as from a disappointed fan rather than a cynic.

Digging: My Brightest Diamond - None More Than You

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2013



10011 Comments


I loved the first few tracks on this, but that was all I can recall

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2013



1639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yea, that's probably the best way to describe the rest of the album: forgettable.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2013



1639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I didn't mention the third track "Find Me" but it's also pretty good even though it's more of the Felt type stuff

silentstar
July 1st 2013



2232 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

damn, that 2.5 rating seems a bit too low.

I found that it did have its strong songs (Goes Without Saying, Find Me, Before I Start Dreaming) and its weak songs (Knew Then Knew Know, Collapse) but Stephen's voice still makes it worthwhile.

I'm a fanboy though, so that's why the idea of this being *just* a 2.5 is a bit absurd. good review though

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2013



1639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

his vocals are definitely as strong as on anything else he's done, but I feel like that also makes me more critical of the other aspects, which are needed to set it apart. I was torn between a 2.5 and a 3 though. Maybe a 3 is more suitable. I'll give some more listens in the future

elbaliem
July 1st 2013



847 Comments


his vocal is good as usual,but this album is rather forgettable.

skoopy48
July 1st 2013



1442 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I remember really liking this when it came out, but I haven't listened to it much since, first song rules.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2013



1639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

first song rules [2]

Eko
July 1st 2013



2119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

best songs on this are Hymn for Her and Before I Start Dreaming imo. I like this more than Felt honestly.

Eko
July 1st 2013



2119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

also do you play baseball for the Texas Rangers

toxin.
July 1st 2013



12024 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

been meaning to review this forever, maybe i'll get on that

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2013



1639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nope, and I didn't play guitar for Advent, but I did meet that dude. He was pretty cool for a Matt Harrison. Not familiar with the baseball player though.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2013



1639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@toxin: that would be sweet. I'd like to read a more positive review than mine haha.

Eko
July 1st 2013



2119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well I wrote one here way back when if you really want one http://www.indievisionmusic.com/2012/08/04/anchor-braille-the-quiet-life/

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2013



10011 Comments


I listened to the first few songs here, and was significantly less pleased than I was the first time I heard this.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2013



1639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I need to revisit Felt. I remember it having some great moments throughout

silentstar
July 1st 2013



2232 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I like this more than Felt honestly."

haha, I feel like that will be a really unpopular opinion. Personally, I found songs like Rust or Summer Tongues to be miles ahead of anything on here but Felt did stall a bit too much in the ballad area.

also, I had no idea you wrote for Indievision! that's awesome. I remember checking that website daily when I was on my Christian Rock binge.

Captain Civic
July 10th 2013



280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Felt was good but I agree, when I want to hear A&B I put The Quiet Life on.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2013



1639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

gah, I wish I liked this more than I do.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy