Staind, often mislabeled as just another nu-metal band and placed in the same group as Limp Bizkit, Korn, Linkin Park, etc. I have to strongly disagree with that; no turntables, rapping, excessive quantities of drop-D tuned riffs or ridiculous amounts of sampling should put some doubt to that. Their 3rd studio album, Break The Cycle, was a massive hit in 2001 selling ¾ of a million copies in the first week alone and eventually going 8x platinum.
The first 2 tracks on the album, Open Your Eyes
are some of the heavier songs on the album being mostly guitar driven. I personally find them both a bit bland but are decent enough openers. Fade
one of the singles has a pretty cool bassline that drives the song. You get a first taste of Aaron’s excellent melodic vocals here, the chorus being the highlight.
You’ve probably heard the next song at least 5 or 6 times, It’s Been Awhile
. Everything is on top of their game here; from the opening notes that set the tone to the simple yet loud drums. Aaron gives his second best vocal performance on the album here. The lyrics are a bit cliché but depressing and memorable. Mike’s simple chord progression during the chorus is effective as it harmonizes the vocals. The melody is likely to be stuck in your head for a long time if not forever.
unfortunately happens to be a filler track. Skip it. Can’t Believe
is the heaviest and most headbangable track on the album. The combination of heavy riffs and weird voice effects in the chorus turns out unexpectedly good. An enjoyable song. Epiphany
is an acoustic ballad and an excellent one too. You’ll either hate or love Aaron’s voice here; I think it’s perfect and his personal highlight on the album. Two thumbs up. For You
is another one of the heavier tracks. The chorus is really catchy here and the best part of the song.
“All your insults and your curses
Make me feel like I'm not a person
And I feel like
I am nothing
But you made me
So do something
Cause I'm f*cked up”
The lyrics express common thoughts and feelings of angry everyday teenagers which would probably appeal to some. Outside
is another one of their popular singles, often performed live and solo. The structure is quite similar to It’s Been Awhile
which isn’t exactly a bad thing. The buildup is nice and again Aaron doesn’t disappoint, giving it his best shot.
The main drawback of this album would have to be the simplistic instruments. The bass in particular is a step back from their previous albums. Although audible for the most part, Johnny doesn’t slap his bass as much as he did on ‘Tormented’ and ‘Dysfunction’. I will miss that opening bassline on ‘Mudshovel’. The drumming for the most part consists of simple and slow beats. The good thing is they are quite loud and avoid just blending in the background but instead make its presence known. Mike’s guitar although nothing out of the ordinary, perfectly fits their style of music. A solo or two would have been nice still to bring certain songs to ‘the next level’.
In my opinion, they handle and pull off the softer songs better and smoother than the heavier ones, a fair number of which are just pointless filler or just plain boring. Aaron is a depressed man, some or many of you would think that is a bad thing. He does have an amazing voice which is definitely the high point of this album. A solid, catchy and easily accessible album overall.
- AARON’S VOICE!
- Depressing lyrics
- Mike’s guitar
- Good mix and variation between soft and heavy songs
- Drums are loud, bass is audible
- Depressing lyrics
- A fair amount of the heavier songs are filler
- Simplistic drumming
- Bass is a step back from ‘Dysfunction’
Top 3 Picks
- It’s Been Awhile
- For You
Overall Rating: 4.1/5