Breaking Benjamin
We Are Not Alone


3.0
good

Review

by Green Baron USER (144 Reviews)
March 23rd, 2015 | 86 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Are Breaking Benjamin alone in anything?

During the entirety of their career, Breaking Benjamin were fairly consistent. They weren’t groundbreaking and never released any earth-shattering material, but one could always count on them to release a semi-decent album with a few great songs here and there. Ever since their 2002 debut Saturate, it was clear that even though they had a generic post-grunge sound, they could play it well. How often they could play it well was a different story. Their consistency meant that all of their albums had the same ratio of great songs to good songs to bad songs. Following that formula was their 2005 sophomore effort, We Are Not Alone, which propelled the band to international stardom, making them one of the biggest names in mainstream rock.

One could always count on Breaking Benjamin to deliver quality singles, and that is how We Are Not Alone starts off. “So Cold”, the band’s first major hit, is one of their best’s songs and opens up the album on a pretty great note. While the instrumentation may be generic, Benjamin Burnley’s vocal delivery is passionate and the cries of “show me how defenseless you really are” have their foundation in well-displayed emotion. It’s also why the nine repetitions of “it’s alright” at the end doesn’t wear thin. Second single “Sooner or Later” is more of the same, which means a simple melody anchored by emotive vocals, angst-ridden lyrics and effective songwriting. While some bands have their weakest songs be the singles, Breaking Benjamin knew how to write a radio hit and made them some of the best tracks they could offer.

The first half of We Are Not Alone, despite lacking variation, manages to shine as the most listenable portion of the album. In all its generic drop-D/standard-C tuned riffs, “woe-is-me” lyrics and unnecessary harsh screams, tracks like “Follow” and “Simple Design” are strangely enjoyable, bringing out the inner pissed-off teenager in all of us. They’re still flawed; the latter has a pretty bad pre-chorus before busting into the hook that saves it from mediocrity, for example. Nevertheless, these don’t need to be perfect in order to be enjoyable. Breaking Benjamin succeed at making good ol’ mainstream rock, but how good it is varies.

Unfortunately, good ol’ mainstream rock wears thin quite quickly, and We Are Not Alone is physical evidence of that. When they’re not doling out U2-lite snoozers in the form of “Forget It” or building a whole acoustic ballad on a children’s nursery rhyme (“Rain”, I’m looking at you; there’s simply no excusing the use of “rain, rain, go away, come again another day” as legitimate lyrics for a hook), they’re recycling their old material and using unoriginal, by-the-lines songwriting to dismay. Burnley’s screams are also futile at best and eardrum-killing at worst. There are plenty of things wrong with We Are Not Alone, but at the same time there’s lots to silently admire.

Out of all the rock bands to make it big in the 2000s, Breaking Benjamin weren’t even close to the worst. They had a few stinkers every here and there and were nothing more than generic, but their ability to dish out a few great songs every record remained consistent until their dissolution. Now that they are back together, one can only hope that the rate of quality remains the same, if not better. The soundtrack to many teenagers’ adolescent years, We Are Not Alone is a small zeitgeist of post-millennial radio rock that's still worth picking and choosing individual songs from.



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user ratings (1195)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Acey (3)
If you are trying to get into Breaking Benjamin, you will be better off getting their new CD, [u]P...

Ian (2.5)
...

thejon93rd (4.5)
We Are Not Alone is a solid effort from Breaking Benjamin. As an album, it's sturdy and consistently...

Bron-Yr-Aur (2.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
March 22nd 2015


21694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

in b4 someone uses "Let's give this another try" as the summary for the new album

Toondude10
March 22nd 2015


6437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

finally a good review for this, even if I disagree with the rating



pos

Digging: August Burns Red - Found in Far Away Places

SmartWentCody
March 22nd 2015


132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Breaking Benjamin has a lot of nostalgia for me. They were the first rock band I ever really loved, so on a personal level, all of their albums are like 5's for me. I understand why they don't rate high though. A lot of their work is just run-of-the-mill, so I pretty much agree with any review that isn't a 5. POS!

Toondude10
March 22nd 2015


6437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I probably would've given this a 5 ten years ago



hopefully the new song will be decent, I can already tell it's not going to be their best tbh

ashcrash9
March 22nd 2015


430 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Forget It" rules, wtf



This used to be my fave BB back when I was like, I dunno, 11 or something.

Haven't listened to this in ages.



Ben's always struck me as a bit of an asshole with the rest of the band carrying him. Now that the rest of the band is completely different, I can't say I have high hopes for the new record.

ConcubinaryCode
March 22nd 2015


2452 Comments


Yeah, I love forget it but I agree with rain being abysmal. I never listened to dear agony even though I always liked the band.I'll try their new album out though

VaxXi
March 22nd 2015


1578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is great, love Benjamin in the final chorus of Break My Fall, probably the pinnacle of his vocal performance.

Kupasexy15
March 22nd 2015


101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fine. I won't do "let's give this another try." But how about, "It's ALRIGHT!" "It's ALRIGHT!" That's a good summary of this too.

Digging: Marina and The Diamonds - Froot

Oneiron
March 22nd 2015


203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not as unlistenable as Dear Agony, but I find the uptempo numbers bland here. Forget It and Rain are easily my favorites, alongside Breakdown and Firefly. The rest sounds like they were trying to recreate the same songs they wrote on the first album. Saturate and Phobia were great. This one is just kind of lacking energy.

Good review though

trackbytrackreviews
March 23rd 2015


2396 Comments


BLOW ME AWAY

DrGonzo1937
March 23rd 2015


10292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Worst album by them, by far. Still great though.

Tunaboy45
March 23rd 2015


7576 Comments


Haven't heard anything by them

Sabrutin
March 23rd 2015


1773 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Worst album by them, by far. [2]

But I also agree on

love Benjamin in the final chorus of Break My Fall, probably the pinnacle of his vocal performance. [2]



Pos'd, well written review. I like Forget It though.

Digging: Distruzione - Distruzione

jsaf7
March 23rd 2015


224 Comments


great review man, the first song i ever heard from this album was "Rain" and dismissed it right off the bat... maybe i should give it a chance though!

Flugmorph
March 23rd 2015


4796 Comments


Heard this band would be pretty gud

Digging: Big Black - Atomizer

VaxXi
March 23rd 2015


1578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really the only albums they have that are good is this one and Phobia

Aftertheascension
March 23rd 2015


2291 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

dear agony was good

Sabrutin
March 23rd 2015


1773 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is their worst. [3]



Dear Agony is the most solid one, while Phobia and Saturate have some highlights that obliterate anything from this in my opinion.



(new single is up, btw)

VaxXi
March 23rd 2015


1578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dear Agony just wasn't as powerful as the three albums before it, it was really restrained even if it was more "solid." It's also really forgettable compared to the other three albums.



(also is the single any good?)

TheSonomaDude
March 23rd 2015


1704 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

All of BB's albums are solid 3.3/5's.



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