Album Review: Balance and Composure

For their third album Light We Made, Balance and Composure went with the ideology of “don’t make the same record twice.” The boys from Doylestown, Pennsylvania return with another record worth giving spin just from hearing the lead singles, Spinning, Afterparty and Postcard. Although B&C had major success with their second album that made it all the way to 51 on the top 200 charts, Things We Think We’re Missing, they didn’t let it keep them narrow minded when making Light We Made. This album takes a completely different turn from its predecessor, but still highlights the emotion and passion that Balance and Composure are known for.

Right away Light We Made lets listeners know that this record is taking a more mellow approach to things. With an ambient winding sound that blends in with a groovy bass, Midnight Zone really establishes the tone for the rest of the LP. Lead singer and guitarist Jon Simmons moves away from his aggressive vocals and showcases his singing ability this time around. When listening to the album its clear their the band stepped away from the aggression shown on Things We Think We’re Missing and Separation, their first LP. The guitars and drums aren’t as heavy, but they compliment the synths and bass lines well. Although some fans may not be to keen on this, it doesn’t take away their ability to write songs that’ll keep you coming back for more

Much of Light We Made is memorable after the first spin with the opening seconds of Midnight Zone to the choruses of Fame and Spinning. Producer Will Yip, a Pennsylvania native, polishes up the tone and flow of the record compared to the rest of the bands work. He even goes as far as complimenting B&C on twitter by saying, “the world is gonna fall in love with this record Friday,” tagging the band afterwards. As the album progresses it becomes clear the production and songwriting is spot on here. Mediocre Love, the fifth track, opens with a distinct bass line covered with ambient guitars and light drums that reels the listener in within seconds. Two songs later Call It Losing Touch starts with guitars that bring a sort of Duran Duran feel with them. Again the boys figure out a way to draw the listener in right out of the gate. This seems to be a common theme here as most of the songs are catchy, but follow suit of a catchy beginning that rolls until the chorus. If there is a standout track on Light We Made, it has to be Fame. The track starts with a synth like metronome winding in the background and a basic key line played over it. Soon kicks in the rest of the instruments that follow pattern. Fame starts as a unique electronic noise that flows into a chorus that’ll be spinning in the listeners head the rest of the day. Jon Simmons, Andy Slaymaker and Erik Peterson have to be given credit here as the guitars on Fame are at their peak when it comes to being catchy. This track definitely has the potential to be played on the radio as do most of the songs on Light We Made.

Balance and Composure really opened up the flood gates with their third effort, Light We Made. By giving this album a more ambient sound, it allows the band to have a wide array of techniques and approaches for their next record. The songs have somewhat of a plain arrangement which is kind of a downer when comparing to tracks like Enemy and  I Tore You Apart In My Head, which were standouts on their previous records, but they still raise eyebrows with the use of synths and ambient sounds. In a day and age where critics think bands “sell out” when they shy away from their heavy tendencies, B&C find a way to make a less heavy album with the emotion and passion as a heavy one and the only thing they’ll be selling out is their shows after the release of Light We Made.

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