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Breaking Benjamin - 2004 We Are Not Alone


BREAKING BENJAMIN - WE ARE NOT ALONE (2004, HOLLYWOOD RECORDS)
Ben Burnley - vocals, guitars
Aaron Fink - guitars
Mark Klepaski - bass
Jeremy Hummel - drums


Background
In the modern rock genre circa 2002, bands were being made just as fast as they were being broken. Labels looking to sign the next best thing, only to dump them by album number two if sales didn't match the projection. Enter the band Breaking Benjamin, who along with a handful of other acts, could definitely pay homage to their album title 'We Are Not Alone'. Bands who hit the skids included the likes of Sugarbomb, July For Kings and a myriad of others, but strangely, Breaking Benjamin (originally known as Plan 9) did not have to endure that fate, surviving the fickle fingers of label bosses. 2002 saw their debut 'Saturate' do just that out in the market place. Combining big riffs and even bigger harmonies, the band struck a chord, and a rich vein of popularity. Come 2004, and their sophomore release 'We Are Not Alone' amplifies their debut and then some..

The Songs
The brooding opener 'So Cold' showcases their preference for power and intensity so soon. Moving beyind the standard BB fare of 'Simple Design' we cross swords with the first of the assists from Smashing Pumpkins mainman Billy Corgan: 'Follow Me', this one retains the intense riffs with a compelling chorus. Despite the downtuned guitars 'Firefly' can hold its own, it's followed by the ebb and flow approach of 'Break My Fall'. The ballad 'Forget It' drifts away dreamily on a summer breeze, while 'Breakdown' is laden with a bunch of heavy riffs and a junkdog attitude! Another great track is 'Away' bought to life by another great chorus. Displaying a side of manic with near death-metal vocals is the track 'Believe'. Disbelievingly, the band follow it up with the beautiful acoustic wash 'Rain'. Hard to believe the contrast, but the band are good enough to mix it up.

In Summary
Despite their ever growing popularity, the band was not without its problems. Drummer Jeremy Hummel departed the band under acrimonious circumstances toward the end of 2004. He filed a lawsuit the following year, the details of which are still hazy. A figure upward of $5 million was talked about. The band have still survived all this and the ever-changing demands of the genre, and along with Californian rockers Sugarcult, have released a brand new album in mid 2006 which is doing well on the charts. Breaking Benjamin are an example of modern rockers beyond survival mode, perhaps they are alone after all..

URL: http://hollywoodrecords.go.com/breakingbenjamin

Track Listing:
01 So Cold
02 Simple Design
03 Follow Me
04 Firefly
05 Break My Fall
06 Forget It
07 Sooner Or Later
08 Breakdown
09 Away
10 Believe
11 Rain

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