Breaking Point

Beautiful Disorder

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Breaking Point's Beautiful Disorder comes along nearly four years after Coming of Age, the Memphis group's Wind-up debut. Back then they got a lot of Creed comparisons, and rightly so: the quartet's earnest post-grunge sound incorporated similar aspects of Pearl Jam, Southern rock, and simple-kind-of-man redemption. Those elements are still evident in Beautiful Disorder, but Breaking Point has also moved laterally toward vague, well-manicured modern rock. Opener "Show Me a Sign" is very suggestive of Trapt's 2003 alt rock hit "Headstrong." Downcast power chords rail against a terse responding note, and Bret Erickson's vocals are double-tracked for extra feeling. Another filter appears for "Don't Let Go." "I see the future not the past/I won't let go I'll make this last," he sings, and then a mono echo version of himself follows with "I won't give up/I'll find a way." The effect lets Erickson be his own therapist, or allows the audience to hear his thoughts. And while it's all very well-intentioned, there's little in Erickson's lyrics, his grainy vocal, or the urgent hard rock of his band that's at all distinctive. "Goodbye to You" pulls out every drawer in the power ballad idea closet -- surging string sections, hearts bleeding, tidal waves crashing, and the key changing in a triumphant third act. "Promise Keeper" and "All Messed Up" take on the modernized Southern rock of 3 Doors Down, while "Reality Show" switches that out for Foo Fighters and a played-out correlation between trash television and cultural complacency. Fans of Breaking Point's earlier material should be able to welcome the band back without too much effort, since Beautiful Disorder just seems like Coming of Age coming out a few years later.

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