Following a divorce and dealing with it in some unhealthy ways, Alkaline Trio drummer Derek Grant found himself putting the past behind him when he began writing lyrics in Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago, Detroit and New York City for what would become “Breakdown”.
Throughout eight songs Grant lays it all out there while wrapping each song in a different sound. There’s splashes of new wave, jangly pop, Springsteen-inspired rock, folk and pop punk to be found throughout “Breakdown”. Pretty much the only constants are the heart on the sleeve style lyrics and the quality of Grant’s songwriting and skills, having played all of the instruments himself.
“Breakdown” clocks in at a mere 23 minutes and leaves you wanting more. Which is surprising because looking at the album’s overall theme, this could have easily turned into a very depressing affair. Yet the songs are poppy and show Grant seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, making this more of a breakthrough rather than a breakdown.