Staind
Break the Cycle


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jason USER (8 Reviews)
May 17th, 2008 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


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 and Pressure 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.

Change 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.

The Good
- AARON’S VOICE!
- Depressing lyrics
- Mike’s guitar
- Good mix and variation between soft and heavy songs
- Drums are loud, bass is audible

The Bad
- Depressing lyrics
- A fair amount of the heavier songs are filler
- Simplistic drumming
- Bass is a step back from ‘Dysfunction’

Top 3 Picks
- Epiphany
- It’s Been Awhile
- For You

Overall Rating: 4.1/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
jason_f90
May 14th 2008


203 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rawr 8th review. Constructive criticism would be good! :]

Willie
Moderator
May 14th 2008


16019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

This is the only album of theirs that I like. The first one was crap and the later ones are all kind of safe and boring.

Constructive Idea: Try to focus on fewer songs and give more detail about those songs, and relate how those details also cover the whole album.This Message Edited On 05.14.08

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

Jim
May 14th 2008


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

when i heard this, it was better than i expected tbh
good review man, but i would agree that you should probably focus on less of the songs individually, which provides more of a chance to focus on the album as a whole.

AtavanHalen
May 14th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, you definitely need to shy away from reviewing every track as it goes- I've tried that and it doesn't really end up working (see my Young Modern review for proof). You should also work on description and elaboration, something sorely lacking from this review. If there's nothing to say about instrumentation, sometimes it's better to say nothing than to say it's nothing special.
Also, it's italics for album titles and "quotation marks" for song titles. Don't use bold, that's my tip from a BBCode perspective.
As for the album, I'm an (un)ashamed fan. Yeah, it's nu-metal. Yeah, the lyrics are pretty cliche. But fuck it, man, I love this shit as much as I love Seether. Nu-metal guilty pleasures FTW.

IAmInsect
May 14th 2008


3800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is probably their best. open your eyes and fade are great.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2008


2682 Comments


This is a good record and review, but Dysfunction is their best to date by far.

Kage
May 14th 2008


1172 Comments


I like Dysfunction a lot as well, and this record is okay to throw on in the car when you've got a few hours of road ahead of you.

On the review, it's well written but when writing about specific songs, try replacing your vague descriptions with more vivid ones. Instead of saying, "pretty cool bassline," try to explain what sort of mood it sets up for the song, and why it works or doesn't work.

foreverendeared
May 14th 2008


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i sort of agree with Jom

i like Tormented, Dysfunction, and Break the Cycle equally. then the albums start dropping off from there

Kage
May 14th 2008


1172 Comments


There definitely seems to be a drop off right after this album. I can hardly stomach any of their albums after this. I remember buying 13 Shades of Grey on its release date. lol

foreverendeared
May 14th 2008


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i did that too. haha. i still have that album rated too high from a few years ago when i rated it. i can hardly listen to it now, but i still enjoy the first 4 tracks of it from time to time.
actually now that i look at it, i have all of staind's albums rated too high, but for the most part i still enjoy staind's music

Geedrummer
May 14th 2008


607 Comments


I rushed out and got this when it came out when i heared Its been a while. i used to adore this CD. im going to give it ago now as i remeber loving it.

thanks for the nostalgia.

InsertTacosHere
May 14th 2008


153 Comments


I think Staind are properly labeled as a nu-metal band because:
a) their band name is intentionally misspelled
b) their songs are about how bad life sucks
c) none of them, with the exception of Lewis, possess much musical talent

Props to Kage for everything he said.

Wizard
May 14th 2008


19444 Comments


I still listen to Tormented and Dysfunction now and again (despite how juvenile they are). This album was a stinker! Ok review. I understand that your thanking Fred Durst for finding and producing this band, however you might turn people off from reading your review when the first thing they read is

Thank you Fred Durst!
His popularity around here (and probably most other places) isn't exactly strong hahaha.

Keep on reviewing! This Message Edited On 05.15.08

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Jom
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2008


2682 Comments


I would say that Mushok is a better guitar player than Lewis, actually.

72haha72
May 14th 2008


436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I loved this album when I was like 13, now I think it's pretty much average. There are many other bands from those times I still listen to and love, but I no longer care for staind.

InsertTacosHere
May 14th 2008


153 Comments


I agree, Jom. I should have made it more clear that the exception I was making earlier was Lewis's singing, not guitar playing.

jason_f90
May 15th 2008


203 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for all the criticism, I'll keep that in mind for my next review. :]

@ the wizard, yeah I'm aware of all the hatred towards Fred Durst, I was just dry on ideas for a good summary. :P

Oh and yeah, Aaron has a phenomenal voice. Check his out cover of "Nothing Else Matters" and "Turn The Page" on Youtube, purrrfect! He's also rumoured to be working on a solo acoustic album which would be great imo.

Peeace.

Merkaba33
May 15th 2008


702 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is pretty good. I just added it back on my computer recently. (I was determined to rid computer of all middle-school music.) They often sound blatantly similar to aic which can be annoying. Then again, many bands do...This Message Edited On 05.14.08

InsertTacosHere
May 15th 2008


153 Comments


Aaron Lewis solo album? I would by that sh*t in a heartbeat. His cover of "Black" by Pearl Jam makes me want to cry every time I hear it. So powerful.

Slaytan
May 15th 2008


1186 Comments


...Dysfunction is their best to date by far.

Agreed.



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