Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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Artist: Anberlin
Album: Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place
Release Date: 9/7/10
Label: Universal Republic

It's been two years since Anberlin signed to Universal Republic and right after, released their album New Surrender. Many fans were let down, especially since the band's critically acclaimed album Cities had released only a year earlier. While, look no further, Anberlin are back and have something to prove with their fifth studio effort, Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place. Perhaps a natural progression, Anberlin have certainly matured and polished up their sound since New Surrender, with a more accessible album that is sure to please both new fans and old ones alike. Dark Is The Way... has a very diverse sound, no two songs sounding alike. Something else that is noticeable is that Stephen Christian's vocals are one of the main focuses of the songs, the instrumentation set for flowing to his vocals, rather than the other way around.

Right off the bat, Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place starts with "We Owe This To Ourselves," a dark rocker that is no doubt Anberlin. Next comes the album's first single, "Impossible," which has a catchy alt-pop texture to it. The pulsating "Closer" is sure to be a fan favorite, where the ballad "You Belong Here" continues the smooth flow that lyrically focuses on a relationship.

"Pray Tell" is musically and lyrically one of the best tracks found on the album. It has a very diverse stomp-clap percussion section and admittedly talks of not keeping anything from God. Another dark alt-rock song focused on betrayal comes with "To The Wolves," with the verse "Who needs enemies when we've got friends like you." The acoustic "Down" has a mellow sound to it and is in the vein of "The Unwinding Cable Car." The album closer "Depraved" has a bit of a depressed feeling throughout, but builds up into an epic ending, the perfect way to end an album.

Rating: 9/10 Anberlin are back with some of their best work to date, contained on Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place. It's no surprise that this album will work its way into many album of the year lists, certainly deserving that spot. Any fans that were lost on New Surrender, welcome back.

  1. We Owe This To Ourselves
  2. Impossible
  3. Take Me (As You Found Me)
  4. Closer
  5. You Belong Here
  6. Pray Tell
  7. Art Of War
  8. To The Wolves
  9. Down
  10. Depraved
(Buy Here)

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