Release Date: 06.18.02
Record label: Sony
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.
by: bill aicher
For years now Our Lady Peace have been one of the more popular rock groups in and from our North-of-the-border neighbors, Canada. Still the band never really garnered the level of popularity in the States it did in its home country.
This could have been due to many reasons, most notably that the band could easily be lumped in with many of the other bands birthed of the post-grunge era. While Naveed and Clumsy both held a few radio hits and were fairly strong albums in their own rights, Our Lady Peace's third album Happiness... Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch failed to appease the burgeoning fanbase the band had begin to amass.
Continuing what could be considered an alienation from their version of the tried-and-true modern rock formula, the band returned with the concept album Spiritual Machines. With Spiritual Machines the band ventured further into less-charted sonic territories and lyrical cohesiveness than their musical peers, delivering their strongest to date. They were a rock band going someplace interesting, though they still hadn't quite achieved the level of greatness so many believed they could reach.
Unfortunately for the music world Gravity finds the band abandoning almost all sense of what they'd learned over the years before. Fueled in part by the departure of original guitarist, Mike Turner, as well as lead singer Raine Maida's new musical focus for the band, Gravity fails to transcend the level of pop-rock mediocrity as all Our Lady Peace albums in the past had done.
This new musical approach offers an album of modern rock-radio nuggets, ripe with jarring power chords, lush vocal harmonization, and little real depth. Of equal note is the near absence of Maida's trademark falsetto and vocal ingenuity.
The album's greatest successes are the ballad-esque anthem songs such as "Somewhere Out There," "Not Enough" and "Made of Steel." Following the same formula as Our Lady Peace's biggest radio success to date, "Clumsy," they're tracks which sound ultimately to be nothing more than radio-fodder.
For a band who had earned a listener base by ever-improving their own trademark sound, Our Lady Peace seems intent on finally striking it big with Gravity. In the end, however, it's more likely they'll lose out on retaining a long-time fanbase and end up with the support of the casual listener - a listener who will be more than happy to abandon them as soon as something new comes along. Gravity is by no means something new. 06-Aug-2002 11:32 PM