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Stanley Climbfall

Release Date: 09.17.02
Record label: Dreamworks
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.


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by: clint poole

Lifehouse burst onto the scene like a breath of fresh air with their double-platinum-selling debut album No Name Face in late 2000. At a time when boy bands, metal-rappers, and pop princesses were dominating airwaves, Lifehouse arrived touting the complete rock package. Armed with Jason Wade’s soulfully piercing lyrics laden over harmoniously roaring guitars, the band brought a layered, ethereal rock sound to quality-starved listeners.

The band’s follow-up album Stanley Climbfall delivers on the high expectations set by the success of their debut. The sounds and lyrics are reflective of Lifehouse’s earlier work, only more complicated and complete than they dared attempt before. With such a quick release of an abundance of tracks (No Name Face was released in Oct. 2000 and followed by a subsequent tour), we can only assume the boys had previously written much of the material but weren’t confident enough to share it with the public. Of course, that was before their overnight ascension to rock-star status. Stanley Climbfall opens with its first radio single “Spin”, a tightly knit, powerful pop-rock ballad, and the album takes off from there. Lifehouse carries the distinctive sound they have developed throughout the album, with Wade’s lyrics transcending contemporary pop-rock, providing an emotional depth and introspection impeccably delivered by the ever strengthening vocalist.

If Stanley Climbfall falters at all it’s through the slight redundancy in the tempo. But mid-album tracks such as “Just Another Name”, “Out of Breath”, and “Take Me Away” pick up the pace and show the band starting to stretch themselves musically. As a complete collection of music this album delivers the goods, and responds to Lifehouse’s critics who were anxiously waiting for the band to secure one-hit wonder status. Not this time, not this band, and certainly not this album. 08-Oct-2002 10:55 PM