No doubt one of the most popular and practiced bands in T&N's history, Anberlin amicably parted ways with the label in late 2007, but with an impressive tenure comes lasting future providence. Anberlin's vocalist Stephen Christian began the project Anchor & Braille years ago, but for his second album, T&N gladly took him on their roster, but The Quiet Life proves its worth well beyond its marketability.
The central theme of The Quiet Life is living vibrantly in the moment. Unlike the bleak, sometimes bittersweet, musings of 2009's Felt, this go-round feels far more hopeful and optimistic without opting for unrealistic naivety. Even when it's not in sight, joy is the destination. Look no further for a sanguine outlook yearning for something more with lines such as "Life is beautiful, open your eyes…/it's not somewhere out there, it's there by your side/it's here and today, it's there in your smile" ("Knew Then Know Now") and "Is it just me or is life passing us by?/We breathe and we eat then we sleep then we drink and we die/If not now then, if not now when?" ("If Not Now When"). But even outside more positive themes, the musical landscape this time is more upbeat and makes better use of interesting percussion techniques (akin to Felt's "Like Steps in a Dance"); the lead single "Goes Without Saying" is ushered in with an electronic timed drum beat, and other tracks such as "In With the New" and "Kodachrome" follow this level of buoyant composition, and it adds more layers to A&B's alternative-painted texture. But just in case listeners get concerned with low supply of ballads on The Quiet Life, A&B sticks "Hymn For Her," "Everybody Here Wants You," and "Before I Start Dreaming" at the album's end, and they prove to be a trio worth savoring. The Quiet Life serves in the meantime as one of finest singer-songwriter efforts this year, one in which Tooth & Nail should take pride and joy.
- Goes Without Saying (4:20)
- Knew Then Know Now (4:11)
- Find Me (4:04)
- In With the New (3:19)
- If Not Now, When (3:28)
- Kodachrome (3:13)
- Collapse (4:46)
- Hymn for Her (5:05)
- Everybody Here Wants You (5:15)
- Before I Start Dreaming (4:12)