Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Our Lady Peace|
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
One of the most prominent mainstream rock bands in Canada, Our Lady Peace can't seem to get a break in the States. Their consistently engaging (if not always inventive) music deserves better. While slick, self-important so... more »
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One of the most prominent mainstream rock bands in Canada, Our Lady Peace can't seem to get a break in the States. Their consistently engaging (if not always inventive) music deserves better. While slick, self-important songs like "Do You Like It" and "Made of Steel" may not help the group's case, they are more than compensated for by the expert playing and towering choruses of slow-burners like "Somewhere out There" and "Sell My Soul." Singer Raine Maida definitely has one of the more distinctive voices in rock & roll--part Scott Weiland, part Michael Stipe--and when it takes flight on the former track, Our Lady Peace truly sound like a force to be reckoned with. Here's hoping people are listening. --Aidin Vaziri
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A cleaner, more down to earth OLP
Whitey D | Wilmington, DE | 06/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With Gravity, Our Lady Peace's newest release, they clean up their act quite a bit and produce songs with more polish and pop sensibility than ever before. While radio and new fans might find this appealing, more hardcore fans like myself will tend to be dissapointed. The album itself is not bad, but after chronological improvement in each album they release, this one seems to be a letdown. There are numerous problems that could have lead to this lacking effort. First of all, Mike Turner, OLP's original guitarist left the band for creative differences. I can see why he did. The new guitarist Steve Mazur isn't bad but is definitely not on par with the guitarwork of Turner. Turner really knew how to compliment Raine's interesting vocal stylings, Mazur doesn't do that as well. Speaking of vocal stylings, Raine Maida's performance, while not bad at all, is not his usual self. It's like he purposely tried to limit his style, and cut back on the things that made his singing interesting. Also, the album's sound is lacking. It tends to be muddy, especially when the power chords kick in. And believe me, the power chords kick in. The new guitarist brings with him little of the intricate picking and melodies of Turner, and limits himself to simple riffing without many fills or leads. After an album (that's the wonderful Spiritual Machines) that had 2-3 guitar tracks complimenting themselves and the music, only one straight ahead riff feels inadequate. I credit most of these problems to Bob Rock, OLP's new producer. Arnold Lanni, the previous producer knew the band and really clicked with them. Bob Rock does not, and that's a shame. Even Raine's lyrics, which have always been inventive and fairly good, are severely suffering here. They fall too quickly into cliches. Raine says this is because Our Lady Peace is now more "down to earth". Fine, good, wonderful, but do the fans or the musicians really want the band to be down to earth? Isn't being down to earth limiting on the artistic value? It's all an excuse because the album is rushed,, and that is also a shame. So with that long list of moaning and complaining, why 4 stars? Because even with those faults, the music is still above average just because of the talent of the band. All For You is the heaviest on the album, and retains the familiar OLP sound. Innocent, Made Of Steel, Somewhere Out There and Do You Like It explore soft/heavy melodies and uplifting lyrics. The best songs though, are the ones that aren't so sunny. Sell My Soul soars and recedes and possesses wondeful dynamics. Bring Back The Sun is the albums strogest track, it is docile, remorseful and moving. Not Enough is fairly good as well, although Bob Rock's horrid producing track record rubs off on this one. (This guy did Motley Crue for God's sake). Today and A Story About a Girl are basically filler. So, after all that said, Gravity is a good purchase for fans of OLP because it's OLP and it isn't bad. It's actually pretty damn good. But if this is the band's new direction, I don't know if I will be able to say that about future releases. Thanks for reading.Dan"
Murder-suicide of artistic credibility.
Steve Gold | Toronto | 06/22/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'm going to qualify each of the two stars I'm giving this record, and it's going to take me a few paragraphs. Those who'd like to rate this review "unhelpful" simply because they disagree with it are advised to read the below, or at least pretend to read to it (most will do neither).I am an Our Lady Peace fan. I've been so for years, and there isn't much I don't know about the band. From the 1992's independant video "Out of Here" featuring the long-departed drummer Jim Newell, to lost songs "Home" and "Sleeping In," to the source material for the band's disjointed concept record Spiritual Machines, I've done my homework. OLP has taken on many guises in the last decade, and I've welcomed each. They've evolved from a gritty grunge band to an alternative sensation, with the records Naveed and Clumsy, and then redefined themselves completely with the brilliantly challenging Happiness . . . Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch. I consider those records a trilogy. There are somewhat trivial reasons . . . each has Sol Fox on the cover, the first single and lead-off track has the word "man" in the title -- but they also map a clear creative trajectory. You can see, or rather hear, the band striving to become itself. And with Happiness, they did: any trace of their grunge and alternative roots was shed, and what remained was a coherent, complete, and stimulating album which contained the music of a band working passionately, feverishly, and as a whole.Predictably, the record sold a fraction of the more accessible Clumsy.Happiness was followed by a good, but fractured disc exporing the concept of machines who become, intellectually and emotionally, human. Coming scarcely a year after Happiness, I really didn't care for an album that seemed a sudden step backward; the band spoke openly about simplifying their sound, getting back to basics, and so on, and the results were uneven.But all the albums were held together by each member's quirky talents: Raine Maida's unique voice, Jeremy Taggart's innovative drumming, and so forth. From phase to phase, the albums were always recognizable as Our Lady Peace.Under their contract with Sony, the band had complete creative control, which they've now signed away for a new contract with Metallica producer Bob Rock.Under this new contract Rock reigns. He cut two songs from Gravity because he didn't care for them. He told Taggart -- arguably the band's most talented member -- to be "less busy" on the drums, and he directed Raine Maida to tone down his distinctive vocal quirks. It was in this atmosphere of simplification and mediocrity that founding guitarist Mike Turner left the band. I can't say I blame him. I don't blame Rock either; the remaining three members willingly signed the new contract, and should shoulder significant responsibility for the band's descent into easily-swallowed arena-rock-pop.New guitarist Steve Mazur was not recruited from thousands of fans worldwide. Such a contest was conducted but Mazur was only taken on after filling in for Turner as a session guitarist, even as the contest took place. The record itself is a mess of meaningless lyrics, tedious power-chords and thin, forumalaic song structure. Maida, who has written with intelligence and passion, tosses off such gems as "I can be anything you want me to be/A punching bag/A piece of string, oh/That reminds you not to think."Taggart's distinct jazz-style percussion has been watered down so as to be indistinguishable from the time-keeping of Nickelback, Default, Creed, and the like. Under Rock's direction, the band no longer plays to its strengths. It plays to the demands of the marketplace -- and if the above mentioned bands are selling, this is the type of music OLP must make.Teeny-boppers will enjoy the record and the accompanying video because "RAIN IZ SUCH A HOTTIEE!!!!!" and because of the pop sensibilities of the record. Fans of music, fans of Our Lady Peace's sonically diverse but always impressive past efforts, will find Gravity tiresome, cold, and temporary."
Good, But Not Good Enough for OLP
Dan | Oregon | 06/30/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I guess I'm just going to be saying what a lot of people have already said: As a radio-friendly rock record, "Gravity" is pretty good. Better than most of the other bands you'll hear on the airwaves. But "Gravity" just can't hold a candle to ANY of Our Lady Peace's previous releases. Mike Turner's creative guitar melodies are gone in favor of playing which is much more fueled by bland power-chords. Raine Maida's singing has lost most of the eccentricity that made it unique, which goes hand-in-hand with cliche lyrics. Bob Rock's production seems only to have watered down the music, getting rid of the mood that helped make "Spiritual Machines" great. And fans of "Naveed," don't be fooled - this is not a return to "Naveed's" style. While both albums are certainly heavier than the three which separate them, "Naveed" still had inspired music, thoughtful lyrics, and quirky singing; "Gravity" does not.So, as an Our Lady Peace record, "Gravity" is disappointing. But it's definitely still enjoyable and catchy. In fact, from any other band, I'd probably find this album rather impressive. It's just that Our Lady Peace are capable of a LOT more. In the end, "Gravity" is a worthwhile purchase - just don't expect it to be as good as the band's past offerings."