Latest alternative rock albums don’t meet expectations

Exciting news of the music front as mainstream bands Breaking Benjamin and Paramore have released albums that have been highly anticipated for the past three years.

Breaking Benjamin’s Dear Agony is not as ground-breaking as its predecessor, 2006’s Phobia, was, but leans toward the band’s new radio-friendly style all the while throwing it back to the chunky drop-C chord style present on the first recordings.

Frontman Ben Burnley’s vocal style on this album seems to be very toned down compared to all of the band’s previous albums. This is especially prevalent on “Give Me A Sign”, “Anthem of the Angels”, and the title track “Dear Agony”.

The subject matter in Burnley’s lyrics also seem very contemplative and personal, which explains why almost half the album’s songs are epic ballads.

However the album does reach some pretty intense highs with songs like “I Will Not Bow”, “Fade Away”, and “Lights Out” which especially sounds like a song you would hear off Saturate.

Tried and true Breaking Benjamin fans will dig this album because of the nostalgic riffs and Burnley’s signature screams. For more casual fans, however, you may just want to download the songs “I Will Not Bow”, “Lights Out”, “Hopeless”, and “Give Me A Sign”.

Brand New Eyes, Paramore’s latest volume of pop-punk revelry, seems to be a toned down record as well.

In addition to picking up a new member, the Franklin, Tennessee band seemed to be gaining a new characteristic to their sound as well. Songs like “Ignorance”, “Careful”, and “Feeling Sorry” still hearken back to the anthems of Riot! and All We Know… while the other eight songs have a more thoughtful texture.

“The Only Exception” in particular stands out among the other tracks for its very personal lyrics and warm, affectionate feeling and “Misguided Ghosts” is an ethereal, hauntingly beautiful acoustic track and definitely worth a listen.

All in all, Brand New Eyes is not a Riot! and All We Know Is Falling, but rather a step in a new direction for the young band as they grow and develop into diverse and mature musicians.

Also, make sure to be on the lookout later this month for the release of Between the Buried and Me’s new album The Great Misdirect dropping October 27th!

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