Breaking Benjamin
We Are Not Alone


2.5
average

Review

by Bron-Yr-Aur USER (39 Reviews)
May 23rd, 2006 | 116 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


Every now and again, a song I would normally dismiss as boring and bland gets past my dull filter and convinces me to check out the band that birthed it into existence. It’s a rather uncommon occurrence, mind you, but all the same, when this “So Cold" song by Breaking Benjamin made its appearance, I found myself instantly smitten and simultaneously determined to hear more from this intriguing band. With this in mind, I purchased ‘We Are Not Alone’, and sat back for a sure to be delightful experience. As the opener (“So Cold") played through, I couldn’t help but smirk at what I thought had been a very good decision. The quiet intro, the heavy chorus… Sure it was a little re-hashed but hey, they pulled it off nicely enough. While I was basking in my glory, “Simple Design" made its foyer, and while it started off rocky, it made up for it’s shortcomings with a catchy chorus, even if it was vaguely cliché.


Cliché. And that’s where the problems began. “Follow" is candidly boring; containing whiny lyrics and singing and predictable arrangements and technique. Not even a minute into the outright melodic song I was certain where it was heading, and when it would get there. Perhaps it is worth mentioning the role that Billy Corgan played in writing a handful of songs on this album? Then again, perhaps it should remain a secret…A well guarded actuality in the rock pantheons. Still, it wasn’t a terrible song. Certainly not the first awful tune on the album, as that right is reserved for “Firefly". I’m not sure whether it was the mindless drop-d riffing, or the abrupt breakdown into a clean and flatly annoying verse that convinced me the rest of the ride might not be so smooth. Whatever the case, I did not want to give up hope on a band that had seemed so good at first glance.

It seemed I might have to anyway. To my mounting panic, “Break My Fall" took the formula previously put to use on “Firefly" and raised it to new lows. The same sloppy riffing and faux-emotional singing and lyrics infest this track like HIV in a brothel. After a somewhat redeeming bridge halfway through the song, the chorus is repeated again. And again. The second of the Corgan contributions stumbles in, and it’s called “Forget It". You might think on first listen it’s the ballad of the album. While not unjustifiable, this is false. Despite its feminine lyrics and singing, it is actually a well-crafted and relaxing pop song. Yes, that’s right. This is pop, and no matter how much you Seether fans steadfastly deny it, it will remain one. The overall inconsistency of the album still worried me, however, mainly for my long lost 14$.

“Sooner Or Later" proved itself a very worthy song, with (gasp!) good melodic singing, layers of harmonious over-dubs, and lyrics that alone could be the hook for the song. By contrast, “Breakdown" was three-and-a-half minutes of nothing. I don’t even remember it. And I’m listening to it now. While there had been some good songs presented, the predictability of it all began to take its toll. The three minute songs all seemed to say the same thing. You know, the “I’m going down and nobody understands, but I don’t wanna throw my life away" dreck that everyone seems to “connect with" lately.

As “Away" began, the first impression I gathered was that the group had made a unanimous decision to re-write “So Cold" and slip it on the album un-noticed. Nice try, punks. Then, out of nowhere, a foreign, screeching noise protruded through the speakers. I had read about these mythical entities, but had never heard them in a Nu-Metal context. A vaguely competent guitar-solo, albeit a short one, allowed me a breath of fresh air.
Immediately following this, the wind that I had just gathered into my lungs was quickly beaten out of me with the unforgivably bad “Believe". How does it sound, you ask? Musically, it sounds like an attempt to emulate pre-‘Ten-Thousand Fists’ Disturbed, while lyrically and vocally came across as nothing more than a second-rate Linkin Park, which says a lot.


Despite all of these numerous short-comings, there was still the odd enjoyable song on this album, and that seemed to be enough. There wasn’t really a blatantly horrible song on it, though “Believe" did come rather close. Let’s face it. It’s a horrible idea to put a nursery rhyme in your song and deliver it straight-faced. It’s an even worse idea to put it into the context of a meandering, chord-drenched ballad that ironically enough, contains the final contribution by Billy Corgan.

“Rain, rain go away.
Come again another day.
All the world is waiting for the Sun."


The entire time this song was on, I couldn’t shake that image of Christina Aguilera standing in front of that mirror in “Beautiful", an image more than likely created by the incessant whining the singer was doing. As this was the closer to the album, I was ready to proclaim this cd a general waste of money, with about four or five good songs and the rest an unholy mountain of filler. Still, it had some replay value, as it did deliver the goods in a few ( ß that would be the key word there) select places.

So what rating could such an album deserve? Honestly, I couldn’t live with myself if I gave it anymore than a 3, and that seems a little generous. After some minor deliberation, I’ve decided to go with a…

2.5/5

First impressions aren’t always everything. Just look at Ted Bundy.


Pros-

Some good songs with great melodies.
A few inventive ideas

Cons-

Poor songwriting
Singer can become annoying
"Rain"



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user ratings (1115)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
thejon93rd (4.5)
We Are Not Alone is a solid effort from Breaking Benjamin. As an album, it's sturdy and consistently...

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)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2006


16089 Comments


Good tbt, although this album is pretty good for what it is. The Te Bundy reference was pretty damn good, as well.

Bron-Yr-Aur
May 23rd 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You always seem to be the first to comment on my sh*t. Thanks man.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2006


15740 Comments


Difference between Pop rock and Mainstream rock: People write positive reviews for pop rock.

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2006


15740 Comments


Good review.This Message Edited On 05.23.06

The Jungler
May 23rd 2006


4827 Comments


Good job, you are becoming more and more elite these days. I liked the singles off this (Rain, Sooner or Later, So Cold) but I'm not picking this up anytime in the 21st century. Theres much better music.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2006


16089 Comments


Official: See No Doubt for positive Mainstream Rock reviews, particularly Tragic Kingdom.
And its becuase I'm a loser and I have sputnik on auto-refresh from about 6-12pm US eastern time, Bron.

The Jungler
May 23rd 2006


4827 Comments


Man, you are a loser. And a lazy one too, I refresh myself.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2006


15740 Comments


I stand corrected, forgot about No Doubt.

Bron-Yr-Aur
May 23rd 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I kind of like No Doubt.

slack
May 23rd 2006


249 Comments


Why does it seem like every generic rock band like this has a song titled "Cold" or "I'm so COLD"? There are artists, and then there are bands like this.

raggedragamuffin
May 23rd 2006


689 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

somebody on "breaking benjamin" must like bugs.
"firefly" off this CD, and "ladybug" off of "saturate, which, by the way, kicks this album's ass, although i like this one too.


Acey
May 23rd 2006


2578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i think Saturate had a harder feel to the album than this one. i still like both very well though

pattern_recognition
May 23rd 2006


950 Comments


Nothing new or original, but I think they're pretty good as this kind of stuff goes.
But So Cold is so ripped off Tool.
Good review.

Acey
May 23rd 2006


2578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it still sounds good though(whew...., dont get me wrong, i like tool)

Bron-Yr-Aur, nice solid review on what you think of the album. Good Job!This Message Edited On 05.23.06

Bron-Yr-Aur
May 23rd 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is my first review where I actually bash the group more than I compliment them.

Acey
May 24th 2006


2578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

you have take both sides someday, or else nobody would get anywhere. i said "what you think of the album", so i complimented you not because i think i hate you for bashing the band, just because you just say it outright and cant stand the band.
p.s. the first song is the best song imo.

Bron-Yr-Aur
May 24th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well thank you. Click "yes" then you hippie.

Acey
May 24th 2006


2578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

there, you happy now im not being rude, i'm just trying to have fun, but fainling miserably.This Message Edited On 05.23.06

Bron-Yr-Aur
May 24th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

...Artificially....

Acey
May 24th 2006


2578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^huh?
- i just got off work, it might take me a minute to figure out the stupid jokes that only i cant getThis Message Edited On 05.23.06



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