Earlier this summer, I found out about and then reviewed Transgressor, the most recently released album by Texas band Quiet Company. Not long after that I was contacted by the band about sharing my opinion of their previous album We Are All Where We Belong to get the perspective of someone who did not know about Quiet Company previously. This was kind of a first, but needless to say I was interested. If you’ve read my Transgressor review (if you haven’t you can read it here) you’d have seen I said some pretty good things about it, so naturally I didn’t mind taking this review back to 2011, the year We Are All Where We Belong was released.
I can see why Quiet Company were curious of my opinion, We Are All Where We Belong is quite different from Transgressor. Transgressor has a lot of jangly indie songs on it, as well as so artsy slower songs, so I was prepared for We Are All Where We Belong’s introductory track The Confessor, which starts off slow and solemn then changes on a dime to a full rock bands worth of instruments (plus a horn section) playing an upbeat indie rock sounding chorus. I was prepared for its following track You, Me & the Boatman‘s fun and upbeat sound with spurts of strong song writing prowess that I can’t help but love. What I wasn’t prepared for was the lack of solid rock songs. The only song on all of We Are All Where We Belong that really has high decibels of volume is the punk-like We Went To The Renaissance Faire, and that song is only two-and-a-half minutes in length. Transgressor wasn’t filled with rocking songs, but it had enough to leave me surprised in We Are All Where We Belong’s lack thereof.
Instead, We Are All Where We Belong concentrates more on experimental indie songs, with enough varied styles to keep my attention away from the lack to harder songs just enough so that I can enjoy this album for what it’s got. I’ve been informed that the entire album is about band leader Taylor Muse‘s exit from Christianity, which is why it’s easy to notice a strong attention to religion in a few of the album’s tracks. There is the slow and melodic Preaching to the Choir Invisible, Part I and it’s even slower sequel heard later on the album Preaching to the Choir Invisible, Part II, which has some of my favourite lyrics. The Black Sheep & The Shepherd and The Easy Confidence all have references to religion. Maybe there are other references in songs that I didn’t notice. Hell, maybe there were references somewhere on Transgressor I didn’t notice, but regardless it makes for an interesting theme for about a third of We Are All Where We Belong.
I know from Transgressor that Quiet Company are pretty solid at making slower songs. So I had high expectations for We Are All Where We Belong. Though there is only one predominantly acoustic song on Transgressor, We Are All Where We Belong has a few. The first of these slower songs, Set Your Monster Free is a nice honest and strongly written track just as I’d have expected while Are You A Mirror? has an easy to sing along with chorus. At Last! The Celestial Being Speaks has a bit of a folk rock feel (as well as some more religious references) while the short but sweet Perspective makes for a terrific closer to the album as a nice little afterthought. It’s Midnight at the Lazarus Pit that I find to be the strongest of these songs slower acoustic centred songs. It doesn’t lose its emotion from beginning to end, but it does end slightly more intense than how it starts, and I can’t help but love the chorus and its melody.
We Are All Where We Belong is rounded up with a few other Quiet Company style indie rock tracks. Fear & Fallacy, Sitting In A Tree is a slow track that has some good vibes while Never Tell Me The Odds is one of those tracks that perfectly shows the sometimes jaw dropping sing writing skills of the band, and their ability to work with as many instruments as they can get their hands on in the most perfect of ways. However, no song on We Are All Where We Belong is better written than the seven-and-a-half minute track Everything Louder Than Everything Else. When I saw the title and the length, I thought this may have been a Meat Loaf cover, but no, when I listened to it, it was easy to hear this is a Quiet Company original, and a hell of a Quiet Company original at that. Starting off with an almost two-and-a-half minute acoustic intro, it doesn’t take long to realize this is a multi-parted track that follows the same path all the way through and it takes its listener on such a journey that they may not even realize its length.
Quiet Company wanted my opinion, and my honest opinion is that I do prefer Transgressor over We Are All Where We Belong, but that doesn’t take away from its magic or my enthusiasm. I realized not long after falling in love with Transgressor that Quiet Company don’t distribute their album in the Toronto area (and probably not in Canada in general) but if I could I’d get all of their albums (though I probably wouldn’t review all of them, I have a lot of bands waiting patiently for their albums to be reviewed) and I’m sure I’d enjoy every last one of them.
If I heard We Are All Where We Belong before Transgressor, I’ll admit I don’t know what my enthusiasm level towards Quiet Company would be. I’ve tried to put myself in that mindset and the best I can come up with is that I’d definitely dig We Are All Where We Belong and give it as high of a rating as I give it now, I mean despite its abundance of slower songs I still have to say the album is diverse and completely superior in its song writing approach compared to just about any other band going, but Transgressor is diverse in a much more noticeable way. Plus I don’t know if it’s my hard rock background but I can’t help but miss the louder tunes.
So what I’m trying to say in more paragraphs than it should be taking is that We Are All Where We Belong is a terrific album. It’s superior, it’s experimental and it’s fearless in its approach to such experimentation and I more than likely would have been interested in what the band had next in store had I heard this album first!
Thanks for reading!
“Fear & Fallacy, Sitting In A Tree” – This was a tough highlight to choose. It came right down to the wire. I ultimately chose this tune because it isn’t slow like the way about a third of We Are All Where We Belong is but it is still on the slow side. It’s a little more positive sounding all while sounding as good as it does. Plus is has an accompanying music video that I can show you.
8 (Out of 10)
|1||The Confessor (You Could Exist Without It)||2:49|
|2||You, Me, & the Boatman||3:44|
|3||Preaching to the Choir Invisible, Pt. I||5:34|
|4||Set Your Monster Free||4:19|
|5||We Went to the Renaissance Fair||2:31|
|6||Fear & Fallacy Sitting In a Tree||3:54|
|7||Are You a Mirror||3:21|
|8||Everything Louder Than Everything Else||7:24|
|9||The Black Sheep & the Shepherd||5:33|
|10||The Easy Confidence||4:49|
|11||Midnight At the Lazarus Pit||5:20|
|12||Preaching to the Choir Invisible, Pt. II||5:14|
|13||Never Tell Me the Odds||2:59|
|14||At Last! the Celestial Being Speaks||4:06|