Breaking Benjamin tops debut
Corgan collaboration disappointing

Michael Ford
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Breaking Benjamin
Click picture to go to site
   Most bands fail miserably when attempting to top a stellar debut album. But Breaking Benjamin pulled it off with ease on their latest effort, “We Are Not Alone.”

   Everything that made their debut album “Saturate” such a success is present on this album, but this time around the music is much more polished. After one listen to the first track “So Cold,” you can tell the band has come together more as a whole. Ben Burnley, the vocalist and guitarist of the four-member band from Pennsylvania, is the main reason for the progression of quality in their music.

   Having taught himself to play guitar at a very early age, Burnley is finally starting to enjoy the success he has worked so hard for and knowingly deserves.

   "Now I wake up every day and can't believe it's finally happening, and that we get to do this for a living,” Burnley says on the band’s official Web site. “Talk about a dream come true."

   Burnley’s voice is truly unique; it sounds reminiscent of David Draiman from Disturbed but is much more melodic and charismatic. Draiman and most other rock vocalists scream and yell; however, Burnley actually sings.

   The much publicized song-writing assistance provided by Billy Corgan, formerly of The Smashing Pumpkins, is disappointing to say the least. The three tracks Corgan assisted with are “Follow,” “Forget It” and “Rain.” With the chorus on “Rain” being “rain go away, come again another day,” the song is quite laughable. At least they stuck the track at the end of the album.

   The true jewels on this album are written by the band. The aforementioned “So Cold” is the first single and easily the best song on the album. It has to be heard to be believed. It’s rare that you hear such a superb job done on vocals. “Sooner or Later” and “Away” are the two other gems that really set this album apart from the rest of what the industry is churning out. For more information on the band, check out its Web site at http://hollywoodrecords.go.com/breakingbenjamin/

   Why haven’t you heard much of “We Are Not Alone” on the radio? Your guess is as good as mine. In an industry infested with Creed knock-offs and boy bands, you would think a breath of fresh air like Breaking Benjamin would be welcome on the airwaves. Do yourself or the rock lover in your family a favor, and purchase this album.

Grade: B+

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