‘Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin’ – Album Review
After almost a decade of music, Breaking Benjamin have released a greatest hits album titled ‘Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin.’
This is the band’s first compilation album and it is well balanced, as it features songs from all four of the group’s studio albums.
Tracks from their debut disc, ‘Saturate,’ include the group’s very first single ‘Polyamorous,’ as well ‘Skin,’ ‘Medicate.’
The commercial success of their 2004 release ‘We Are Not Alone’ is well represented with ‘So Cold,’ ‘Sooner or Later’ and ‘Rain.’
‘The Diary of Jane, ‘Breathe,’ ‘Until the End’ are the tracks included from Breaking Benjamin’s 2006 release ‘Phobia,’ while ‘I Will Not Bow,’ ‘Give Me a Sign,’ ‘Lights Out’ make the cut from 2009’s ‘Dear Agony.’
The collection of hits is definitely solid, but what really makes this album a treat is the second disc of rarities on the special 2-CD edition. The rarities disc features acoustic versions of ‘I Will Not Bow’ and ‘Polyamorous,’ which allow listeners to really hear the raw beauty of singer Benjamin Burnley’s voice. Some live acoustic tracks include ‘Until the End’ and ‘Breathe.’
A few unreleased cuts, as well and some Japanese B-sides, such as ‘Ordinary Man’ and ‘Lady Bug,’ also appear on the rarities disc
A couple of the most intriguing tracks on the second disc include a unique version of Queen’s ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ and a very dark and melodic rendition of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy the Silence.’
A single disc album version of of ‘Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin’ is also available. This individual CD features the same 13 tracks as disc one of the deluxe edition of the album. It also has the song “Water” (from the rarities disc) as well as “Had Enough,” an exclusive tune that is only available on the single-disc version.
The band’s new single from ‘Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin’ is titled ‘Blow Me Away,’ which features guest vocals from lead singer Syd Duran of rock band Valora. Duran adds melodic intensity to the song that compliments Burley’s voice.
However, the release of that song has led to a legal battle within the band, and the future of Breaking Benjamin currently is up in the air. Burnley’s battle with an unspecified illness and his recent ousting of guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark James (aka Mark Klepaski) have left the status of the band in question.
Thankfully, this anthology of their hits, along with the second disc of rarities, serves as a breath of fresh air for any Breaking Benjamin fan and a great introduction for anyone just discovering the band.