Balance and Composure
Light We Made


2.5
average

Review

by Atari STAFF
October 11th, 2016 | 67 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A forgotten dream

Nightmares aside, there are really only two kinds of dreams: there’s the kind where you vividly remember the details the next morning, and there are those instances where you know you dreamt something, but can’t remember for the life of you what it was. If Light We Made was a dream, it would be an indistinct, forgotten fantasy by the time your eyes adjusted to the dawn’s sunlight. In an attempt to create a more hazy, ethereal listening experience, Balance and Composure’s third effort falls victim to complete boredom. It’s not that their shift in sound is completely unexpected – The Things We Think We’re Missing flirted with more expansive and dreamy song structures – but their third full length is missing a key ingredient that made their past efforts so convincing: passion.

On their sophomore release, Balance and Composure found a nice harmony between their gruff demeanor and a much softer approach, but Light We Made misses the mark entirely. The frustrating thing is, it still sounds like Balance and Composure, but it’s as if they needlessly neutered everything interesting from their sound. It may sound harsh, but there’s almost nothing to get excited about with the band’s foggy and uninteresting return. Even during its better moments, the album is anchored down by weird, ineffective vocal effects and a stubborn refusal to progress. ‘Mediocre Love’ and ‘Is it so Much to Adore"’ could have been decent tracks, but are far too distracting with glitchy, repetitive spoken word snippets that are about as effective as a knife in a gun fight.

You can’t blame them for trying, though. ‘Midnight Zone’ finds the band tinkering with several dream-inducing vocal styles that sound nice enough, but even the variety can't completely make up for the lifeless tone throughout the song. If any track manages to escape the album’s uninspired sound, ‘Postcard’ is one of them. Though it can’t hold a candle to their debut, vocalist Jon Simmons follows up some droney vocals with a line that actually carries a strong sense of passion and conviction: faint and numb / you keep my head unsteady and my hands shake / fought another day, and now / you wait until I’m standing in your landscape. Like much of the album, the song harbors a sense of repetition, but it’s done in a much more natural way that feels more akin to the well-balanced The Things We Think We’re Missing.

There’s nothing outright terrible about Light We Made, it’s just not a very engaging album. I have no doubts the band’s latest effort would make for some decent background music with its inoffensive and light arrangements, but it’s a pretty lifeless listening experience for anyone who knows what Balance and Composure are capable of. A few rays of light cut through the murky and mediocre experience, but when all is said and done, Light We Made is like that dream you struggle to remember in the morning: forgotten.



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user ratings (178)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
h23nter (4)
Balance And Composure have released one of the most mesmerizing and entertaining listens of the year...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2016


23511 Comments


Atari wrote a negative review, wow

feedback appreciated. shorter than my last few but there's really not much to say... it's neither terrible nor good - just very unmemorable and not very inspired. I really dug their first two albums though

postcard (one of the better songs)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QFKsdtOeug
full album stream
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeBaB0mHuUQ

Digging: Spanish Love Songs - Schmaltz

tcat84
October 11th 2016


1190 Comments


Wow that album cover is something...

FreddieDelaney31
October 11th 2016


4040 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Mediocre band finds a new way to be mediocre

Afterparty and Postcard are great tho

Digging: Hopesfall - Arbiter

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2016


23511 Comments


I didn't find them to be mediocre before this album, but this one just seems to fall flat of what it was trying to accomplish. I know a lot of bands are doing this kinda thing (turnover, citizen, title fight) but it just didn't work out for these guys here.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
October 11th 2016


22464 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah i never got into these guys. from the singles ive heard this looks really boring

Digging: Melody's Echo Chamber - Bon Voyage

Nikkolae
October 11th 2016


5363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

s'alright

Digging: Russian Circles - Guidance

bloc
October 11th 2016


50769 Comments


The first song is easily the best, and there are some cool ideas scattered around. But for the most part, this is pretty bland.

Digging: Oubliette (USA) - The Passage

Danred97
October 11th 2016


1776 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think a 3 fits this very well. I enjoy it while listening to it, but as soon as I'm done, I can't remember how any of the songs go. Reminds me of a more watered downed version Polyenso.

bloc
October 11th 2016


50769 Comments


Yep you nailed it

rafalafa
October 11th 2016


66 Comments


Boy, the ratings are all over the place. Balance and Composure: 2016's most divisive album?

RevengeSoldier
October 12th 2016


306 Comments


it didnt work for title fight either tbh

tacos n stuff
October 12th 2016


3128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i had a feeling this wasnt going to be anything special

TooManyFriends
October 12th 2016


2841 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

damn, i liked this more than anything else they've done to this point. back half is super catchy and good (first half is admittedly kinda lame though)

TooManyFriends
October 12th 2016


2841 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is like if the last title fight album was good

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2016


23511 Comments


maybe it will grow, but just didn't do much for me at all

their debut is my favorite by far

ProjectFreak
October 12th 2016


2851 Comments


I thought Things We Think We're Missing was generally boring, so I can't imagine how this must sound if it's even sleepier. Good writeup. Sad to say it looks like their debut was a fluke.

Excuse me while I jam I Tore You Apart again

LawlessWalrus
October 12th 2016


134 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Liked the opener a lot, and the back half has some good stuff too. But pretty different from what I expected from them. I prefer the first 2 albums, but I'll go back to this whenever I wanna chill out or nap

Stantons
October 12th 2016


1 Comments


I absolutely loved TWTWM, have to agree with you on here. Not much that particularly stands out or is memorable. I also expected a much stronger performance and better ideas vocally as well.

I understand the "vibe" everyone was going for, but ultimately most of the tracks for me seem to just float along.

ElegantElephant
October 12th 2016


1391 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

overall v disappoint yea :[

po0ty
October 12th 2016


563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think alot of bands in the scene were inspired to go all lofi after how well Turnover pulled it off. I like this as background music but yea its not terribly interesting.



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