Balance and Composure
The Things We Think We're Missing


2.5
average

Review

by Mike Denison USER (17 Reviews)
September 19th, 2013 | 15 replies | 1,180 views


Release Date: 09/10/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Missing something.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

The Things We Think We're Missing is an eye-opening album.

It made me look at music I thought I knew well in a new way and appreciate things I'd somehow missed before. The sense of urgency in Jon Simmons' vocals, the satisfying crunch of the guitar riffs, the deft transitions between grungy atmospheres and post-hardcore intensity...Of course, all of these things can only be found on B&C's last album, Separation.

To be fair, I wasn't a huge fan of that album on its release. It grew on me, sure, but aside from a few tracks I mostly forgot it. It took The Things We Think We're Missing to show me what I had missed. And it's a shame, because I really wanted to like Missing. I want to like this band in general, for its potent blend of emotional vulnerability and diverse songwriting. But this album, in an attempt, presumably, to seem focused, is diluted and bland.

The most immediately noticeable difference is the production. Separation was raw and gritty, maybe a bit too much so; but here we have a B&C that is vastly overproduced, neutering any emotion that could have otherwise mustered. Not that the production has that much work to do; Simmons sounds oddly tired throughout the album. Even as he throatily rasps his way through the brisk opener "Parachutes," and desperately tries to muster some intensity in the bridge of "Notice Me," he lacks enough punch to convince me. His heart isn't exactly on his sleeve on this effort; nothing carries the despondency or poignancy of "Fuck what you told me, it all leads to smoking alone in my room in the end" or any of the pivotal moments from Separation.

But part of what made B&C noteworthy was their ability to combine atmosphere and aggression -- obviously, not a strictly unique trick, but one the band pulled off well. Here, however, instead of breaking up intense moments with moody atmosphere (and vice versa), we have sluggish, limp instrumentals (the guitar work is particularly uninspiring) and morose, droning choruses. "Lost Your Name" never reaches the emotional heights it seems to strive for; "Keepsake" simply meanders, devoid of direction.

There are a few times when B&C gets it right, though. Generally speaking, the songs that favor melody over intensity succeed, most notably "Tiny Raindrop." While instrumentally simplistic, Simmons' cries of "I need you on my garments" and the grungy wall of sound behind him are catchy without sacrificing substance. "Reflection" could have easily fit on the last album, thanks to its booming, soaring chorus, and "Back of Your Head" shows off the dynamics that the rest of the album sorely lacks. But overall, Missing is a frustrating album, as it's an average one that's maybe one or two big decisions short of a great one -- here's to hoping they find whatever it is.



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user ratings (269)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Jacob R. STAFF (2.3)
Numb....

Wayne H. (4)
Balance and Composure at their most balanced and composed....

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


Comments:Add a Comment 
ProjectFreak
September 19th 2013



1293 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

haven't written in a while, let's see how it goes

but yeah, this album could/should have been a lot better

Spec
September 19th 2013



27053 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not loving it sadly.

joshuahuntkc
September 19th 2013



1577 Comments


I've never really understood why so many people seem to like this band. You got this spot on. pos'd

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2013



9999 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

You're so right. Wonderful job

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2013



19451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really great review. This definitely reads like you've written more than 9 reviews. I actually agree that this doesn't have as much of an emotional punch as separation but I still love it.

"You're so right"

lol omaha. he can't actually be right or wrong, tis a matter of opinion. But he backed up his points well

Digging: The Who - Tommy

DurzoBlint
September 19th 2013



1171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tiny raindrop is the best song on here, glad someone else thinks so.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2013



9999 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

Well duh he ain't objectively right Atari, I just feel similarly to him.

And "Lost Your Name" is actually my fave here.

andrianoc
September 19th 2013



96 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The drumming on this album though...

ProjectFreak
September 19th 2013



1293 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

thanks guys

and yeah Atari I wrote for a few other sites before I came to sputnik, I hoped my writing style would fit in here.

And yeah Durzo, that song is surprisingly good, it was the only one that really stood out on first listen and I'm still not tired of it.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2013



19451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i know what you meant omaha just giving you a hard time ;)

@projectfreak, ah that makes sense. I'd def say it fits in here keep up the good work man

weedblunt
September 19th 2013



549 Comments


void is the only song i like by this band

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2013



19451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

quake is my all time favorite by them

ProjectFreak
September 19th 2013



1293 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I Tore You Apart In My Head > Patience > Tiny Raindrop > the rest

nooshdeezy
September 20th 2013



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

corn

ProjectFreak
September 20th 2013



1293 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

such as? I know a lot of people like this album.



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