Overall Music: ★★★★3/4
Without listening closely to the lyrics of each song, one would assume that Quiet Company is just another indie band combining tunes from the Get Up Kids with the lyrics of Colin Meloy of the Decemberists. However, We Are All Where We Belong, is packed with meaty and sometimes controversial lyrics which many people can relate to. In lead singer Taylor Muse’s own word, “It is, essentially, a break up record, only the romance that’s ending was between myself and religion.” Muse’s emotion and honesty in confronting his troubles with religion and ultimate separation from it, contribute strongly to the power and mood of the lyrics and the album as a whole. For anyone who has struggled with understanding religion or ultimately given up on it, this is one album in which the singer and song-writer can definitely relate.
The first step in acknowledging that one has a problem with religion or its teachings is confessing the truth, and fittingly, Muse uses the album opener, “The Confessor,” to let listeners know his dislike for religion when he states “Don’t wanna waste my time thinkin’ about the afterlife.” Arguably the best song in the album is “The Black Sheep, and the Shepherd.” A weird mix of choir-esque singing, colonial style drumming, and sub-pop/alt. rock, the song has some of the most powerful lyrics in the entire album:
So I tried and I tried to achieve belief. Maybe there is something wrong with me, but I’ve been feeling fine (In fact, often better than fine.) Though, now both my shoulders have started hurting from walking around under such a burden, to reconcile everything that we learn with everything that we were taught. But with all we know now, how can you say “Oh you’ve just got to take it all on faith” and “Don’t think too much. Just hush and pray, exactly as we’ve always done.”
Hey god! Now I’ve got a baby girl. What am I supposed to tell her about you? Because her life shouldn’t have to be like mine. She shouldn’t have to waste her time on waiting on you, because you never do come through.
But luckily I held out long enough to see that everybody really makes their own destiny. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s just you and me, exactly where we belong, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with us.
Other notable songs include “Are You A Mirror,” a song directly addressing his young daughter, whom he hopes will love him when she grows older, and “Set Your Monster Free,” where Muse once again address his daughter:
Daughter, I once knew that everything that I believed was good, and fair, and true, and consistent with my needs. But daughter, I am wrong almost as often as I’m right. So daughter, just be strong enough to make up your own mind, because you don’t have to waste your time, holding on to beautiful lies.
I could sit here and continue telling you about all the amazing songs on this album, but that would not do the lyrical genius justice. Simply put, it is amazing. While Muse and the band went out on a limb in creating such a controversial album, they were undoubtedly successful as they have grown in popularity and are playing shows at South by Southwest (SXSW) this week where attendance is expected to top that of Bonnaroo’s.
Unfortunately, I was not able to see them at SXSW (since last week was the film festival) during my trip to Austin, TX during spring break, however, Coupon Smell spoke with the band in February and the interview can be found here. To learn more about Quiet Company be sure to check out their Facebook page.
Umar Khan, Host of Coupon Smell, Thursday Nights/Friday Mornings from 1-2 AM