As I get further and further away from the high school years and even the college years, music made by bands like The Museum becomes less and less appealing. It’s not that its not sonically pleasing or technically proficient. It’s just that I’m not necessarily the target market. That’s not a bad thing, per se, but it makes it hard for me to appreciate their music as much as I might if I was still worried if “Jenny in 5th hour AP History” wanted to go to the senior prom with me. That said, BEC Recordings’ The Museum is back with 11 new songs in the form of My Only Rescue.

“All Over The World” and “Solid Ground” kick things off and show just how schizophrenic this experience is going to be for the listener. The former is a “get you up out of your seat” number that every middle school and high school camper will clamor for throughout the week. The instruments are pretty straightforward and the lyrics are pretty surface-level and don’t require much of the listener. But then the latter is a mellow, melodic, worshipful piece that exudes a certain poetic maturity and spiritual “knowing.” I hated the first track but could play the second one on repeat for an extended period.

Title track “My Only Rescue” is proof-positive that The Museum excels at more pensive, tuneful numbers. “You’re my only rescue in a world full of letdown,” sings lead vocalist Ben Richter. Of course, neither God nor Jesus are mentioned in the song, so it could easily be included on a “love” mixtape to “Jenny in 5th hour AP history” if she agrees on the whole prom thing. (Of course, she might find a way to back out if you do that…so play it cool, bro. Play. It. Cool.)

“Love Will Find You” continues the tread.

But, if the “pensive, tuneful numbers” are what draw me in as a listener, it’s the pop-rock numbers that drive me up a wall. The Museum just…isn’t good at them.  Songs like “Lost In A Moment,” “Coming Closer,” and “All Over The World” make me cringe. And while they may have tons of teenaged fans who would disagree with me, let us not forget that teenagers also made the Twilight Saga into not 3 but 4 horrible movies. They may not be the best judge of what makes quality music. While there is plenty of room for fun music, The Museum needs to play to their strengths and find an older constituency who appreciates thick poetry paired with great music.

Ben Richter’s crisp vocals are one of the better features of the band, but its not very distinct in a sea of pop-rock singers flooding both mainstream and AC radio. I couldn’t pick his voice out of a line-up if I had to. He’s not trying to be Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot), but he might benefit from a little more individuality in how the vocals are arranged and delivered. 

Overall, My Only Rescue is a decent enough progression in the life of a respectable band, but its relatively unremarkable. There are some genuinely impressive moments on the project as well as some spots that could have used some polishing. Longtime fans will herald The Museum’s new offering. As for me, I’d recommend downloading various singles, but not the entire project.