Review Summary: I've never seen myself as optimistic, so this should come as no surprise/No one feels good forever
The difference between a good record and a great record is not always apparent. Trying to separate anticipation, and comparisons with previous works is also difficult to grasp. These two things combined make The Difference Between Hell
and Home a very puzzling listen for me. Counterparts are able to seamlessly blend the styles of their unpolished, but charming debut album Prophets,
with its more focused and emotional follow up The Current Will Carry Us,
but for some reason it just doesn't do it for me. Maybe it's because none of the tracks stand out to me, or because my exceptions and attachment to Counterparts' previous record were too high. Whatever the case may be, The Difference Between Hell and Home
is stricken with the ever so boring distinction of being simply good, and nothing more.
The song structures are always shifting yet remain tight and focused, the breakdowns are sparse and only rear their ugly head when needed, and the interpersonal lyrics perfectly match the tone of the music and always seem to follow the constant changes in the songs. All these factors are fine and dandy, but everything is so neat and nice without actually standing out or saying anything at all, and worst of all, I've heard it all before but done better in the band's previous albums, and other albums in the genre. Unfortunately The Difference Between Hell and Home
is not greater than the sum of its parts, nor is it a worthy measure to its counterparts. Prophets
had "Goodbye, Megaton" and the title track, The Currents Will Carry Us
had "The Constant" and "Reflection," The Difference Between Hell and Home
has eleven songs that all have one word song titles and can all be described with one tragic word: acceptable.