Release Date: Apr 17, 2012
Record label: Entertainment One Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Post-Grunge
According to interviews with the band, Our Lady Peace's eighth album is either a return to their 90s glory years or a bold experimental leap forward. It's not either, but were you really expecting the grunge rockers to go avant-garde? It does sound like they've bought a bunch of new effects pedals for the guitars and spent some hours reading the manuals of their keyboards, but they're essentially the same modern rock band they've always been. Curve isn't going to change anyone's mind about Our Lady Peace.
Our Lady peace had a hell of a four-album run to open their career. 1994’s Naveed burst the act into the mainstream within the confines of their native Canada, with help from singles such as “Birdman” and the record’s title track. Clumsy followed and catapulted the quartet onto rock radio stateside on the heels of “Superman’s Dead”. Things then got interesting as 1999’s Happiness ...
The eighth studio album from Our Lady Peace finds the Canadian-born Los Angeles-based alt-rockers pushing the boundaries, offering up a nine-song set that lead singer Raine Maida describes as "more experimental and ambitious" than any of their previous outings. The resulting Curve more or less lives up to its ballpark idiom, and while it may not signal a complete reinvention, it definitely distances itself from the calculated guitar-driven alt-rock that dominated 2009's Burn Burn. Stand-out cuts like the hooky, instantly gratifying "As Fast as You Can" and the moody Radiohead-meets-the National single "Heavyweights," are adventurous and radio ready, allowing room for both the band and Maida, whose distinctive warble remains more than respectable, to strut their stuff, but too much of the album is plagued by overly earnest pap like "Find Our Way," "If This is It," and "Window Seat," which just sound like rote '90s alt-rock songs with new window treatments.
I want to love Curve. Our Lady Peace played a key role during this critic’s (and probably many readers’) formative years, including the time I gave my first valentine a bouquet of chocolate flowers with 90’s hit “Clumsy” soundtracking the sweaty-palmed affair. Unfortunately, some bands cannot transcend an era; Our Lady Peace retain much of their once popular sound on Curve but try to update it with studio wizardry, soaring U2 choruses, and soulless metal riffs akin to Creed.