While their hold on rock radio (and rock music at large) is obviously easily quantified at this point in their careers, there was a time where Breaking Benjamin still had something to prove. While creating their third record Phobia, the band was under some surely intense pressure to follow (hah!) their two previous successful albums. Especially 2004’s We Are Not Alone, which featured a few huge singles like “So Cold” and “Sooner Or Later”, and which also propelled the band to new heights. One listen to 2006’s Phobia, though, and the band’s status as hitmakers was cemented.
While Phobia is more than just a string of highly successful singles, ignoring how songs like “The Diary Of Jane” and “Breath” catapulted the band into superstardom would be folly. Seriously, the former track is still inescapable to this day, with a hooky chorus that any band would kill to write. The latter, of course, is another live staple.
The strongest part of Phobia, though, is that the non-single cuts are some of the best material Breaking Benjamin will ever release. Case in point? Mid-album cut “Evil Angel”, which is a heavier track but also contains a soaring, magnificent chorus, and the undisputed best track on the album, “Unknown Soldier” – whose depiction of a soldier caught in battle is an emotionally gripping one, to be sure. However, it’s also referencing (subtly, of course, since Breaking Benjamin lyrics tend to be open to interpretation) personality disorders like bipolar and especially borderline personality disorder. Songs like these truly resonate with the common listener – especially if they know someone who’s served in battle, or has battled these disorders themselves. What a record.