Breaking Benjamin

Dear Agony

Written by: DR on 10/01/2010 18:33:59

Breaking Benjamin always seemed to me as one of those bands that even though I never listened to their albums, I would probably recognise a song or two from the back catalogue due to their immense popularity. After a quick flick through the old Youtube, lo and behold, I'm right. Songs such as "The Diary of Jane" and "So Cold" are seemingly what this band are all about: a brand of mainstream post-alternative-grunge-metal-rock-whatever which has served Breaking Benjamin very well in breaking into the mainstream, and annoying musical elitists along the way.

If isn't broken, don't fix it, right? Which is the main irritant new songs stir-up when compared to old ones - the apparent lack of any significant progression. Four albums in, you'd begin to wonder when that well will run dry. The eleven songs are generally constructed in similar fashions: mid-tempo, highly impressive musicianship, whilst Benjamin Burnley croons and screams his lyrics which maintain a steady meter throughout that always, always build towards the chorus. It's not difficult to see the reason why some of their songs rack up millions of Youtube plays, and the first three albums achieved at least Gold Certification - "We Are Not Alone" and "Phobia" both went Platinum - and that reason is they are incredibly good at what they do. The chorus' drive themselves into your brain and force you to sing along with them ceaselessly. I've been listening to other music, and good music too, and found myself singing lyrics from the track "Dear Agony": "Dear Agony / Just let go of me / Suffer slowly / Is this the way it's got to be? / Dear Agony."

There isn't really all that much to be said, because there honestly isn't all that much to this album. If you've heard one song, you might as well have heard them all. There's no ambiguity in regards to what this quintet is about. If you like Breaking Benjamin, you are a dead cert to like this; and if you hate them then it will never change your opinion, but it's not really meant to. Is that a good or a bad thing, though? Should a man with the problems and neuroses of Benjamin Burnley really be settled with just being competent and reliable? The quality never drops below decent, but as good as it gets, it only ever gets good.

Download: I Will Not Bow, Without You, Dear Agony
For Fans of: Trapt, Three Days Grace, Skillet
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 29.09.2009
Hollywood Records

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