Breathe Appreciation Thread

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby Jaded Rescue » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:09 pm

I've said this before, but I try not to come off too demanding on what the band should do, so I'm sorry if that happens sometimes. I'm just expressing my opinion on what I think could achieve some better artistic results from AB. I think that's the case with most people on here expressing disappointment. We're not trying to tell the band what to do. If anything, we're sick of others doing that (as in Elvis).

I find it ironic that Myles often says in interviews, "If what we write doesn't come from the heart, the fans will see through that." Yet I haven't heard a genuinely strong emotion come out of him for years now, musically.

I find it even more ironic that for how much the band tries to "push the boundary" and "be dynamic", they end up having no dynamics on the album (in terms of volume or musical ideas) and they're more predictable than ever. Breathe, even as a track that sounds like a b-side, had more surprises in 4 minutes than the rest of this album did. That's not to say it's even a particularly original track... The Last Hero was just so predictable to me. Obviously I couldn't predict exactly which notes they would move to in a section, but I had a damn good idea of the groove or type of riff that was coming next on every track.

I respect anyone who says that they like The Last Hero, but I have trouble understanding the notion that this band has kept as much feeling in their music as they did when ODR and Blackbird were released, and especially so live. This goes doubly for Myles during the Mayfield Four era. He hasn't written anything so honest since.

I'm not trying to be negative, and I apologize for my rant, I'm just severely disappointed. This band has so much more potential to move people with their music, and I'd honestly place money on the idea that they aren't being completely open and honest with themselves as musicians and artists. It may be an unpopular opinion, but there's something or someone holding them back from fully enjoying themselves. I don't know who it is, but I can hear it. Something's been off. And when I hear and see bands like AC/DC still rocking with tons of energy in their 60's, I can't give any credence to the argument of, "Well they're getting older". Something changed somewhere around AB III for this band and they stopped being fun.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby anguyen92 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:16 pm

I respect anyone who says that they like The Last Hero, but I'll be damned if anyone is going to sit here and honestly try to say that this band has as much feeling in their music as they did when ODR and Blackbird were released, and especially so live. This goes doubly for Myles during the Mayfield Four era. He hasn't written anything so honest since.


Fair enough, but I will say, to me, that I feel they were playing with more urgency in The Last Hero that I don't think I felt in prior albums.

This all reminds me of a post I made a while back regarding my perspective of what experimenting is. Funny thing, given the way The Last Hero was to me, the first bit of that quote was on the money, baby. Is The Last Hero an honest-to-good AB album, to me? Yes it is. Well-crafted? Ehhhhh, if they only toned down some of the layering effects, but kept the bulk of the contents of the songs, it would have been well-crafted.

I don't mind not being surprised when it comes to AB. There are certain things I want in an Alter Bridge album and they keep providing it to me, album after album. Elvis has a great grasp of what these guys are capable of and he keeps bringing it out of them.

I think, and some people may not know it, but there are going to be times where bands will experiment with their sound and they will fail at the approach they are going for. I mean people have fairly criticized Breaking Benjamin's new album to be a bit derivative compared to their past albums, but damn it, Dark Before Dawn was an honest-to-good album that I expected Breaking Benjamin to bring out and that's what I wanted.

I do not want AB, at this critical juncture in their careers where everything keeps becoming a little undefined regarding their future, to experiment and fail and which could result in a bad song/album. Some people may be fine with it, in hopes that they "improve" in the future, I'm not. I just want an honest-to-good, well-crafted Alter Bridge album and if it means working with the same producer in the form of Elvis and that they are not "experimenting" enough in the ways people wanted/expected, so be it.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby Jaded Rescue » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:28 pm

anguyen92 wrote:I do not want AB, at this critical juncture in their careers where everything keeps becoming a little undefined regarding their future, to experiment and fail and which could result in a bad song/album. Some people may be fine with it, in hopes that they "improve" in the future, I'm not. I just want an honest-to-good, well-crafted Alter Bridge album and if it means working with the same producer in the form of Elvis and that they are not "experimenting" enough in the ways people wanted/expected, so be it.

I guess the way I see this is that I've got more than enough faith in the guys to experiment and not fail. Because to me, they've somewhat failed by not getting outside of the box more. It's a weird thing, but some bands can do the same sound over and over again (AC/DC, Breaking Benjamin) and it somehow works for them. Something about Alter Bridge doesn't do that for me. I want them to try different keys, different tempos, different swings and feels.

I remember watching Live at Amsterdam and thinking Holy crap, a modern rock band just pulled out a resonator and played OLD old blues, and people actually listened and loved it! But then we just get another stereotypical modern rock album with a few progressive elements thrown in. Why aren't we using the drummer that has some of the best ability to groove in modern rock and throwing him a solo or something? Why aren't we using the severely under-utilized bass player in the band to his fullest potential? Why aren't we using the full range of ability and versatility in the lead singer who also used to be a Jazz Fusion guitarist, and the lead guitarist who has the capability of showing the metal world that life is more than just chug-chug-chug?

But instead we keep getting more of chug-chug-chug, and more emotionless high-singing from Myles. This band has so much more variety at their fingertips but they'll never use it if they keep writing albums in 3 months with little interaction between each other. They could benefit so much from learning how to just have a loose jam session and let things go wherever they go organically.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby mikeyd23 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:52 pm

Some really good stuff here guys.

Jaded Rescue wrote:I guess the way I see this is that I've got more than enough faith in the guys to experiment and not fail. Because to me, they've somewhat failed by not getting outside of the box more. It's a weird thing, but some bands can do the same sound over and over again (AC/DC, Breaking Benjamin) and it somehow works for them. Something about Alter Bridge doesn't do that for me. I want them to try different keys, different tempos, different swings and feels.

Honest question. You don't feel like AB has tried different things? I mean if I listen to ODR and then TLH, I'd say they have changed and tried a lot of different things. Whether you or I like those changes is a completely different conversation, but I think we'd agree changes happened. This band has evolved, this band has continued to push their sounds into different places.

Jaded Rescue wrote:I remember watching Live at Amsterdam and thinking Holy crap, a modern rock band just pulled out a resonator and played OLD old blues, and people actually listened and loved it! But then we just get another stereotypical modern rock album with a few progressive elements thrown in. Why aren't we using the drummer that has some of the best ability to groove in modern rock and throwing him a solo or something? Why aren't we using the severely under-utilized bass player in the band to his fullest potential? Why aren't we using the full range of ability and versatility in the lead singer who also used to be a Jazz Fusion guitarist, and the lead guitarist who has the capability of showing the metal world that life is more than just chug-chug-chug?

But instead we keep getting more of chug-chug-chug, and more emotionless high-singing from Myles. This band has so much more variety at their fingertips but they'll never use it if they keep writing albums in 3 months with little interaction between each other. They could benefit so much from learning how to just have a loose jam session and let things go wherever they go organically.

While I don't agree with all of this, I agree with some of this. My reason is simple. AB is not their only gig. AB is not their main focus. AB is A gig. AB is A focus. Huge difference.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby Jaded Rescue » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:00 pm

mikeyd23 wrote:Some really good stuff here guys.

Jaded Rescue wrote:I guess the way I see this is that I've got more than enough faith in the guys to experiment and not fail. Because to me, they've somewhat failed by not getting outside of the box more. It's a weird thing, but some bands can do the same sound over and over again (AC/DC, Breaking Benjamin) and it somehow works for them. Something about Alter Bridge doesn't do that for me. I want them to try different keys, different tempos, different swings and feels.

Honest question. You don't feel like AB has tried different things? I mean if I listen to ODR and then TLH, I'd say they have changed and tried a lot of different things. Whether you or I like those changes is a completely different conversation, but I think we'd agree changes happened. This band has evolved, this band has continued to push their sounds into different places.

I mean I guess it comes down to one's definition of "different things". Different melodies? Sure. But here's the way I see it: ODR and Blackbird are two different albums. If Alter Bridge was Earth, I could make some analogy like ODR was the forest, with changes in the weather and different foliage and everything is very organic. With Blackbird, it's cleaner, more technical. Call that the city. The problem is, AB III was just the depressing area of the city where everything's run down, Fortress is maybe the outlying suburbs falling apart, and The Last Hero is arguments in City Hall.

My issue is... where's the Ocean? The Jungle? One of the arctic poles? Hell, take a trip to the moon! Every album after Blackbird is certainly different, but they're just more shades of that style, and I think AB had the potential to explore so much more than that. It's not to say they haven't changed, but they just haven't changed nearly as much as I think they're capable of.

That said, I do agree that there is the issue of AB being one focus out of many. And as much as I love Slash and Tremonti (and I really do), I think AB has suffered a lot from that.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby mikeyd23 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:15 pm

Jaded Rescue wrote:I mean I guess it comes down to one's definition of "different things". Different melodies? Sure. But here's the way I see it: ODR and Blackbird are two different albums. If Alter Bridge was Earth, I could make some analogy like ODR was the forest, with changes in the weather and different foliage and everything is very organic. With Blackbird, it's cleaner, more technical. Call that the city. The problem is, AB III was just the depressing area of the city where everything's run down, Fortress is maybe the outlying suburbs falling apart, and The Last Hero is arguments in City Hall.

My issue is... where's the Ocean? The Jungle? One of the arctic poles? Hell, take a trip to the moon! Every album after Blackbird is certainly different, but they're just more shades of that style, and I think AB had the potential to explore so much more than that. It's not to say they haven't changed, but they just haven't changed nearly as much as I think they're capable of.

Nice analogy, I get where you are coming from. It's definitely arguable that ABIII, Fortress, and TLH are shades of whatever style you want to call BB, but all I'm saying is that they didn't make three carbon copies of BB, that's all. Each album is a little different, ABIII got a bit moody and darker, Fortress and TLH got a bit more progressive in structure and metal in tone. So just changes, we could go back and forth all day regarding the degree of change but that's all a matter of opinion.

Jaded Rescue wrote:That said, I do agree that there is the issue of AB being one focus out of many. And as much as I love Slash and Tremonti (and I really do), I think AB has suffered a lot from that.

Exactly. I have totally enjoyed Myles/Slash stuff and Mark's solo stuff. But I'd trade it in, in a heartbeat if it meant that AB would become the end-all-be-all for these four guys again (and that's coming from someone who really, really likes TLH).

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby Jaded Rescue » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:21 pm

mikeyd23 wrote:They didn't make three carbon copies of BB, that's all.

Totally agree.

And part of me would love to see what it was like if the band only focused on AB and what AB III, Fortress, and TLH would have been like without any interruptions. Even if that meant the release schedule was the same and we had to wait just as long, I'd love to see what that would have been like.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby Timotheus » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:44 pm

One thing that I appreciate about the new album is that it has its own tone. You'll never hear me ask them to go back an older version of themselves, but I agree with Jared there's still a lot left to discover. There's this bubble that they love staying in. I'd love them to take that trip to the moon. I think they made a big jump during AB III and Fortress though, I applaud them for that.

Jaded Rescue wrote:
mikeyd23 wrote:They didn't make three carbon copies of BB, that's all.

Totally agree.

And part of me would love to see what it was like if the band only focused on AB and what AB III, Fortress, and TLH would have been like without any interruptions. Even if that meant the release schedule was the same and we had to wait just as long, I'd love to see what that would have been like.

Still 2 overproduced albums probably, but more thought-through. Both are really spontaneous albums, but I don't think they sound like they are. Maybe a longer process could've filled in the blanks in a more comprehensive way.
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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby mikeyd23 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:48 pm

Jaded Rescue wrote:And part of me would love to see what it was like if the band only focused on AB and what AB III, Fortress, and TLH would have been like without any interruptions. Even if that meant the release schedule was the same and we had to wait just as long, I'd love to see what that would have been like.


It's interesting to consider, isn't it? I think it wouldn't have produced terribly different results, but I do think we may have gotten some little things that would have been done better. Maybe a transition would have been more thought out. Or a chorus would have been redone because it just fit but it wasn't the best they could do. I dunno, but it's interesting to think about.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby chtimixeur » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:54 am

In the early AB years, I couldn't understand why some people on the Internet hated Myles' voice. I thought they were exagerrating because he was playing with the Creed guys and Slash, and he was an easy target. For years, I thought he had the most wonderful voice.
Nowadays, it's a different story, and his nasal tone genuinely annoys me.
His voice used to be deep and soothing, and now, it's always high, and I can definitely hear the screeching cat analogy, whereas I thought it was ridiculous in the past.
The generic lyrics, the "forevermore denying", the multiple vocal takes, the echo and various effects certainly play a part in all this, but a couple of songs showed us he could still bring the goods if he really wanted to. So I still have some hope, but something's gotta change, that's for sure.

Somehow, I think the recent good chart positions across the world may let them think we're just haters and Elvis is doing a perfectly fine job. After all, it sold well, so where's the problem, folks ?
I know we all want them to be succesful, but a band will be more likely to make a change if its latest album has been a commercial failure.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby mikeyd23 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:23 am

chtimixeur wrote:Somehow, I think the recent good chart positions across the world may let them think we're just haters and Elvis is doing a perfectly fine job. After all, it sold well, so where's the problem, folks ?
I know we all want them to be succesful, but a band will be more likely to make a change if its latest album has been a commercial failure.


Call me ignorant, but I really don't think this is how AB measures things. They have gone on record many times saying they don't write to please a label, and nowadays don't even have a label interfering with their writing process. I think they are also realistic with regards to the record industry nowadays. They know they aren't going to sell a million copies of a record no matter what they do. I honestly think these guys judge their records as artists, meaning if they are artistically satisfied with the record, then it is a success in their eyes.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby Them Bones » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:07 am

I really doub't thats the case with the last 2 records, but thats just my opinion. Either way, I don't care much about how other people on here may or may not agree with other's opinion's, it doesn't matter, good for you guys that you like the new album, for me personally it is another disappointment, as a fan, really waiting for Myles' solo record more than the next AB at the moment.
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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby mikeyd23 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:10 am

Them Bones wrote:I really doub't thats the case with the last 2 records, but thats just my opinion.

Just curious, what makes you say that?

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby Them Bones » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:15 am

Personally, I'm hearing repetitive riffs and lyrics, vocal melodies without any feel, drum beats more or less the same, noise levels increasing, pointless complexity disguised as artistry, also, it all boils down to personal tastes, but knowing these guys since 1997, atleast through their music, I think their artistic satisfaction would be something that would get translated to me as a listener as well, I guess thats what "connecting with fans " means. It hasn't happened, I like my share of "Complex music", I love Tool, but I cannot feel the new AB music.
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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby Jaded Rescue » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:14 pm

Them Bones wrote:Personally, I'm hearing repetitive riffs and lyrics, vocal melodies without any feel, drum beats more or less the same, noise levels increasing, pointless complexity disguised as artistry, also, it all boils down to personal tastes, but knowing these guys since 1997, atleast through their music, I think their artistic satisfaction would be something that would get translated to me as a listener as well, I guess thats what "connecting with fans " means. It hasn't happened, I like my share of "Complex music", I love Tool, but I cannot feel the new AB music.

This is what I'm trying to get at. Making a song more "complex" and "progressive" just for the sake of it doesn't make a good song.

I feel like the guys see themselves in a very different light nowadays. When they began, this band was all about treading into the unknown, musically, and now each album feels more like they're playing a video game where they're just trying to reach the next "level". It's not about exploring music anymore as some sort of emotional/personal outlet. Each album is just some sort of technical test for them, and the lack of artistry really shows. There's no feeling in it anymore.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby anguyen92 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:37 pm

Jaded Rescue wrote:Each album is just some sort of technical test for them, and the lack of artistry really shows. There's no feeling in it anymore.


What does that mean the lack of artistry shows? Any song, piece of music, is a form of art, even the really crappy ones. To you, there's no feeling in AB's music anymore and it looks more mechanical and placing the pieces of the puzzle, etc. and that's a fine opinion to have. Honestly, though, I just don't think that thought process can be the only overall generalization that sums up the modern-day AB. To me, I'm seeing a band playing with more urgency than before (mostly due to the overall theme of the album).

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby mikeyd23 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:57 pm

Them Bones wrote:Personally, I'm hearing repetitive riffs and lyrics, vocal melodies without any feel, drum beats more or less the same, noise levels increasing, pointless complexity disguised as artistry, also, it all boils down to personal tastes, but knowing these guys since 1997, atleast through their music, I think their artistic satisfaction would be something that would get translated to me as a listener as well, I guess thats what "connecting with fans " means. It hasn't happened, I like my share of "Complex music", I love Tool, but I cannot feel the new AB music.

Once again, to be fair, I could easily make the argument that ODR is waaaaay more repetitive in regards to riffs than TLH (that sorta thing doesn't matter to me that much though, there have been some great songs built around one riff). I'd also argue (and was just discussing in another thread) that Flip's drumming has continued to get more creative with each record.

"Pointless complexity disguised as artistry", oh boy... First off, I'm not sure who you or I or any other fan is to determine what component or aspect of a song written by someone else is pointless. Obviously it has a point, the songwriter(s) specifically put every verse, chorus, guitar part, fill, whatever in the song because they thought there was a point to it. Or else it wouldn't be there. And once again, not sure who we are to claim something isn't artistic because we don't like it. Those things don't equate.

I agree artistic satisfaction can be, in part, experienced from connecting the artist's intent to the fan or listener through that art (I think that's what you mean). Just be assured that some fans still feel and connect with their music.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby mikeyd23 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:00 pm

Jaded Rescue wrote:This is what I'm trying to get at. Making a song more "complex" and "progressive" just for the sake of it doesn't make a good song.

For sure Jaded, spot on.

Jaded Rescue wrote:I feel like the guys see themselves in a very different light nowadays. When they began, this band was all about treading into the unknown, musically, and now each album feels more like they're playing a video game where they're just trying to reach the next "level". It's not about exploring music anymore as some sort of emotional/personal outlet.

That's kinda the nature of a band that's been around before and put out a bunch of albums though, right? Logically, ODR was the unknown being the first album, I think it's kinda human nature to fall into that next level up mentality after that.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby Jaded Rescue » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:02 pm

anguyen92 wrote:
Jaded Rescue wrote:Each album is just some sort of technical test for them, and the lack of artistry really shows. There's no feeling in it anymore.


What does that mean the lack of artistry shows? Any song, piece of music, is a form of art, even the really crappy ones. To you, there's no feeling in AB's music anymore and it looks more mechanical and placing the pieces of the puzzle, etc. and that's a fine opinion to have. Honestly, though, I just don't think that thought process can be the only overall generalization that sums up the modern-day AB. To me, I'm seeing a band playing with more urgency than before (mostly due to the overall theme of the album).

What I mean is that it feels like they make albums as a technical challenge, and not as an artistic endeavor. That's not to say it isn't art, because of course it still is. I just think they're much more connected to the mathematical/logical side of music than the feelings/emotional/spiritual side of music. And when I say mathematical I don't mean Dream Theater level of progressiveness or anything, but simply that they tend to play now like they're writing the songs based on some logical set of rules based on "What Alter Bridge is" at this point in their careers, rather than whatever they're feeling in their heart.

All of this isn't to say that I don't want any technical prowess in the music, but I would just appreciate some balance. There's room for both, and that's where bands really excel and make a name for themselves. This may be an unfair comparison considering the current state of Rock music (especially in the U.S.) not being as popular as it once was, but to me a band like Queen is a perfect example. Queen could play complex, progressive ideas, but they did it in a way that was still accessible, and you believed Freddy when he sang it because he always sang like his life depended on it. That's what I loved about old-school Creed and early AB, but nothing from AB makes me want to care any more. Nothing Myles is singing makes me want to give a shit, quite frankly.

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Re: Breathe Appreciation Thread

Postby Jaded Rescue » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:04 pm

mikeyd23 wrote:
Jaded Rescue wrote:I feel like the guys see themselves in a very different light nowadays. When they began, this band was all about treading into the unknown, musically, and now each album feels more like they're playing a video game where they're just trying to reach the next "level". It's not about exploring music anymore as some sort of emotional/personal outlet.

That's kinda the nature of a band that's been around before and put out a bunch of albums though, right? Logically, ODR was the unknown being the first album, I think it's kinda human nature to fall into that next level up mentality after that.

I think my issue here is that I had (potentially unfair) much higher hopes for Alter Bridge. I think they're capable of more than just leveling up.


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