is the 5th album
by the Canadian
rock group Our Lady Peace
. The much-anticipated (by me
, anyway) album lives up to my every expectation, even if it's absolutely nothing
like I thought it would be. Yay surprises
1. All For You 4:14
2. Do You Like It? 3:58
3. Somewhere Out There 4:11
4. Innocent 3:42
5. Made of Steel 3:41
6. Not Enough 4:33
7. Sell My Soul 4:20
8. Sorry 3:18
9. Bring Back the Sun 5:11
10. A Story About a Girl 4:18
Total Run Time: 41:26
This is a very good album, although I feel it's a little too short. Then again, I'm a big Our Lady Peace fan--it could have been three hours long and I'd still want more. YMMV.
Gravity has a much different feel from their other albums. I'm not sure if this is because of the addition of Steve Mazur, Our Lady Peace's new guitarist, or if this was just something they had to do, but it sounds great. The album as a whole is much heavier than their previous releases--they've always been reasonably hard rock, but Gravity takes it to a new level. A friend commented, "They sound like a Canadian Staind!"
Listening to the intro of the first song, All For You, it's easy to tell where one could draw that comparison. A slowish, dreamy, very soothing synthesizer melody takes up the first :23. It sounds like the making for a slower, Are You Sad?-esque song... and then the guitars crash in. And then the double-bass rolls on the drum kit start up. Now it sounds almost like nü-metal, and if it wasn't for Raine Maida's familar voice you wouldn't have any idea who was playing. Our Lady Peace definitely chose the right song to begin their album with: All For You lets the listener know that the days of Clumsy and Thief are over and shows just how versatile a band they can be.
Do You Like It? follows up All For You very nicely. Although there has always been a hint (or perhaps a bit more than that, in some cases) of angst and self-hatred in Maida's lyrics, Do You Like It? shows this much clearer than I've ever seen from him in any of his other songs. The words
//~...I hate myself for begging
I hate myself for staying
I hate myself for listening to you...~\\
leave very little to the imagination. All in all a very good angry song
The third track is also the first single from the album, Somewhere Out There. A slower, somewhat lighter song (although still nothing like Life, the first single from Spiritual Machines), "Somewhere Out There" was a good choice for the radio. It's a song about an ex-lover who has gone away and Maida wants her back (//~...I miss your purple hair/I miss the way you taste...~\\). Orchestral strings (I believe I hear a violin and a viola, but I play trombone, what the hell do I know?) are mixed in with the guitar parts to create a very beautiful and melodic piece of music. Another keeper.
One of my favorite songs on Gravity is Innocent. It tells the story of two people who could really be anyone in the world--Johnny and Tina--as well as Maida himself, and how they all wish things were better in the world. It again tells about people who seem to hate themselves, as is apparent in Tina's verse:
//~...Every calorie is a war
While she wishes she was a dancer
And that she'd never heard of cancer
She wishes God would giver her some answers
And make her feel beautiful...~\\
The chorus is what really makes the song, though. It's very simple, but brings everything together. If you hear just one song off of this album, make it Innocent
The first song I'm not a huge fan of is Made of Steel. It's not a bad song by any stretch of the imagination, surely, and lyrically it's very good, but musically... again, it's not horrible, but certainly no where near as good as the first four tracks, in my humble opinion. Three stars our of five, in other words.
Track six, Not Enough, is a slower, pretty depressing song. Comparisons can be made between it and 4AM, but that's probably a bad idea because 4AM is awesome and it makes Not Enough seem much worse than it actually is. It would be one of the poorer tracks on the album if not for the very heavy bridge (//~...it's not enough...~\\ with a ostinato distorted guitar line underneath it), but it still ranks about as high as Made of Steel.
Sell My Soul is much like the previous two songs, unfortunately, as far as quality is concerned. Maybe it's just that the first four songs were so mindbogglingly awesome that it's hard to follow up on, but I think this is one of my least favorite songs on Gravity. Others may tell you differently, but it comes down to my node, my editorial.
Luckily, Sorry kicks ass. Yay! I'm beginning to realize that I like Our Lady Peace's upbeat stuff better than their slower songs as a general rule. There are exceptions, of course, but Sorry is an upbeat song with, while not a totally upbeat lyric, not a thoroughly depressing one either. A very nice song that's refreshing to hear after a rather disappointing stretch of mediocrity.
Bring Back the Sun is kinda dreamy: it almost makes me wish I knew how to dance so I could softshoe around my basement. Although not a terrific song either, for some reason I like this better than tracks five through seven. Probably about a 3.5 out of 5.
The album closes out with A Story About a Girl. This song starts off sounding uninteresting but winds up being very good towards the end. All I really have to say her is stick with it. It's a very good choice to close out the album with; if nothing else, Gravity is organized very well.
Fans of Our Lady Peace should definitely appreciate the new sound the Canadians bring to the table with their latest release. Definitely go out and buy this one.
Oh, and I'll node the lyrics to the tracks later, assuming no one beats me to it. In the meantime, if you just can't wait, they are listed in the liner notes and most likely can be found at www.ourladypeace.com