The rock scene was as crowded as ever during the 90's. For the first half of the decade, Grunge bands popped out of the ground left and right. In the post-Grunge landscape of the second half of the 1990's alternative rock took over, with bands similar to the likes of Collective Soul, Everclear, and Smashing Pumpkins filling in the void. Now, generally Canada does not contribute to the mainstream rock scene quite as much as the US, but that does not mean that the cupboard was bare. Far from it. One of the Canadian bands to make it in the industry and gain popularity in the ever successful rock scene is Our Lady Peace. Formed in Toronto Ontario in 1992, the band has released several well received albums, including their sophomore effort, Clumsy in 1997. After the immensely popular debut album, Naveed, Our Lady Peace's second full length album had become a highly anticipated album. Needless to say, despite the seemingly enormous pressure that the group must have felt, they passed with flying colours, releasing one of the most successful albums of their career.
From the very beginning of the opener, Superman's Dead, it is very evident that Clumsy has a very 90's mind frame. The music is very typical of many of the band's alternative rock contemporaries. Listeners find themselves greeted by simple, yet tight rhythms through the run-time of the band's sophomore effort, rhythms which help lead the song through the many memorable choruses and verses. The guitar driven melodies that can be found through songs like the staggeringly infectious title track snake themselves through the eleven track recording and oftentimes present an enjoyable take on the 90's rock scene. The band is very competent as songwriters, piecing together strong songs which balance the memorable, sing along choruses with solid musicianship and excellent riffs and melodies. While Our Lady Peace does not exactly shine light on a new, different style of rock, they do give listeners an excellent take on the already dominant genre of the decade.
By far the most impressive member of Our Lady Peace's musical efforts is vocalist Raine Maida. Like his band mates, the Canadian singer does not present a new, radical way of singing alternative rock, but instead opts for the traditional vocal efforts of the genre. Quite the talented singer, Raine's high pitched vocals are strong throughout the album, from the powerful, anathematic choruses of songs like Superman's Dead and Automatic Flowers to softer sessions in 4 A.M. to the mainly vocal driven Hello Oskar. Maida's charismatic voice is a powerful tool which Our Lady Peace makes perfect use of on Clumsy. Maida manages to make both the verses and the choruses of the record's tracks into memorable affairs with the listener. Raine's singing has always been quite likeable throughout his career with Our Lady Peace, and his efforts on Clumsy are very enjoyable to listen to. I would definitely have to say that Maida is one of my favourite vocalists in his respective genre.
Our Lady Peace faced high expectations while putting together their second album, Clumsy. But the four piece was still able to create a highly enjoyable 40 some minute record, which mixes the many pros of the post grunge scene of the 90s. One of the band's better records, Clumsy has spawned several classic Our Lady Peace tracks and a string of hits, including the likes of Superman's Dead, Automatic Flowers, and 4 A.M. Quite the memorable record, it features the entirety of the band in top form, especially vocalist Raine Maida, whose energetic efforts bring Clumsy both momentum and catchiness. Fans of alt rock, or other forms of post-grunge music should surely find Our Lady Peace appealing, and I would definitely recommend Clumsy to new listeners. Get it if you have the chance.