Balance and Composure
The Things We Think We're Missing


4.0
excellent

Review

by Wayne H. USER (14 Reviews)
September 14th, 2013 | 36 replies | 7,910 views


Release Date: 09/10/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Balance and Composure at their most balanced and composed.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Somewhere in the nebulous gap between '90s-inspired grunge and emotive indie rock, Balance and Composure have managed to carve themselves a surprisingly distinct niche. Their now-trademark sound has always combined intricate melody that takes advantage of their three guitars to set the atmosphere for their angsty vocal delivery. Deep and pensive without becoming inaccessible, B&C's mournful but melodic approach seems to have found the sweet spot between vulnerability and aggression.

An impressively diverse record for a band who has more or less defined a stylistic box for themselves, the band's oscillation between hauntingly wistful melody and heavily distorted angst is driven expertly by the interaction between vocal and guitarwork, with one element feeding off and complementing the other in a manner rarely executed so fluidly for a relatively young band. The Things We're Missing features a Balance and Composure that has complete and total confidence in their rendition of the myriad influences they draw from and emulate. It picks up from where Separation left off: in the tumultuous emotional void of a relationship falling apart, and rather than formally offering closure, The Things We're Missing delves more introspectively into the insecure, vulnerable, and frustrated psyche of a lonely soul failing to find companionship.

Tracks like “Parachutes,” “Back of Your Head,” and “Reflection” use melodic hooks to lure listeners into lyrical content that otherwise might drag too monotonously into melancholy. Similarly, other times B&C employ distorted and reverberating guitars alongside crisp drumming to round off less dynamic vocals. The Things We're Missing's greatest strength is perhaps its cohesion; never in does the album feel like it relies too heavily on one element or another of the group's talents.

Gliding effortlessly from one sonic idea to the next, the album showcases a band that is mature, talented, and perfectly content to let each element of their sound contribute equally to the whole. Never does it feel like one musician is competing with another for virtuosity. As a result, The Things We're Missing is wholly satisfying from the initial listen to the umpteenth replay. The layered and dynamic nature of Balance and Composure's sound makes for music that offers catharsis and gratification early and often, but also holds secrets that take a listener time to truly appreciate.

Overall, the album plays like the magnum opus of a tortured savant, too experienced and jaded to be wholly optimistic or innocent, but beautiful nonetheless in its self-awareness and honesty. From the piercing screams that highlight the chorus on “Parachutes” to the clean vocal cadence on “Tiny Raindrop,” and all of the variation in between, The Things We're Missing offers rich soundscapes that populate a diverse and focused record whose main weakness may only be that all of the songs seem so solid that there is no apparent standout track.



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user ratings (271)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Jacob R. STAFF (2.3)
Numb....

Mike Denison (2.5)
Missing something....

Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Won't you let me in?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Winsomniac
September 13th 2013



7955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Full album stream at: http://pitchfork.com/advance/215-the-things-we-think-were-missing/

"Parachutes": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOBbNMKnYdw


I gotta fuckin' chill with the prounouns.


loveisamixtape
September 13th 2013



5914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review pospospos

Digging: Keep - Hypnosis for Sleep

Winsomniac
September 13th 2013



7955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks mixtape. I just needed to get back into the swing of writing. I'm still trying too hard to embellish, but I'll get my style back soon.


Hopefully will start reviewing more.

loveisamixtape
September 13th 2013



5914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good call with magnolia in the rec'd by reviewer section. rly liked that one too

Winsomniac
September 13th 2013



7955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, Magnolia ruled! I'm jamming it right now actually, haha

loveisamixtape
September 13th 2013



5914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's gotten really consistent playtime for me this whole year. didn't expect to like it as much as i do

Winsomniac
September 13th 2013



7955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Seedwong, yo.


Mothafuckin'





SEEDWONG.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2013



19475 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review man. just a couple things i noticed in the second paragraph:

"The Things We're Missing delves more introspectively into the insecure, vulnerable, and frustrated soul of a lonely soul failing to find companionship."

I like the way you describe the album here, but you say soul twice and I think it would read better if you say frustrated soul of a lonely man instead. Also, that first sentence is just a bit long (of the 2nd paragraph). I think it could be trimmed or made into two sentences. Just my opinion feel free to take it or leave it

Digging: The Who - Tommy

Winsomniac
September 13th 2013



7955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah I threw that in at the end, and it definitely has that typo. Will fix, thanks! As for the length of it, I tend to have that problem because I have a desire to describe things in precisely the manner I perceive them (which leads to the ridiculous pronoun usage). Thanks for the constructive criticism, I'm definitely trying to get back into reviewing.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2013



19475 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No problem man, cheers.

Cygnatti
September 13th 2013



21349 Comments


balance and Composure at their most balanced and composed.

-_-

Digging: The Avalanches - Since I Left You

Winsomniac
September 13th 2013



7955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

-_- [2]

Spec
September 13th 2013



27062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice revieeeeew.

Storm In A Teacup
September 14th 2013



12687 Comments


Seeing this band open for Coheed on Haloween

Winsomniac
September 14th 2013



7955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, that tour seemed really strange to me in the sense that these guys really don't come to mind when I think of groups that would tour with Coheed.


Still should be cool though!

somethingnotsoclever
September 18th 2013



54 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

What's wrong with me?

I listened to this and wasn't moved by it, at all. The first couple of songs sounded very similar. It felt like there wasn't as much creativity in the verses and song structure like there was in Separation.

I only gave it one listen. Is this a headphones record? So I can pick up all the background sound and vibe of what's going on all around....

I just listened to this on the way to and from work.

Cygnatti
September 18th 2013



21349 Comments


What's wrong with me?

answer:
I only gave it one listen.
Is this a headphones record?


Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2013



19475 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lol this definitely takes more than 1 listen to sink in

Winsomniac
September 18th 2013



7955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah this definitely didn't peak immediately for me; I was definitely able to appreciate it for what it is quickly, but it didn't really sink in until 4-5th listen. Tiny Raindrops and Parachutes are probably the catchiest for me.

Pretty much 123 Cyg and Atari.

Cygnatti
September 18th 2013



21349 Comments


Every damn album takes more than one listen.
And every damn album is a "headphones" one.



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