Review Summary: Three Days Grace release their 2003 debut album once again.
It has been three years since Three Days Graces' One-X
, and the band have finally returned with their third studio album, Life Starts Now
. Previous installments from the band turned out to be no more than mainstream rock albums that were compromised mostly of three-chord songs and contained a heavy coat of production paint. Nearly all of the tracks on those album came custom-made with a blunt and unimaginative set of lyrics that singer Adam Gontier was somehow able to make believable and convincing. As it came to pass, the band flourished - particularly thanks to the easily identifiable singles that gave the common man an anthem to shout and sing along to during their daily lives. Now the band has returned and promised a better album; one that is supposedly filled with jam sessions and guitar solos. Does Life Starts Now
deliver on Three Days Grace’s promise, or is it merely a rehash of the band’s popular debut once again?
Opening track “Bitter Taste” is evidence hinting that the band have indeed pulled the same card out of their deck for the third consecutive time in a row. A simple riff starts the song, and Adam follows with a typical verse and chorus structure and delivers a hook that’s far too forced and contrived in nature to be convincing. However, there is a guitar solo here, and it’s actually pretty decent in comparison to what is usually found in most mainstream rock albums. This song is an example of what the listener can expect from the rest of the album as it mostly comprises the elements of the band's typical work: elementary lyrics, simple chord progressions, and give or take an interesting bridge section every now and then.
Ever searching for a way to appeal to the masses, the band opts to shoot straight for the fans that fell for One-X
’s hopeful, ballad single, “Never Too Late”. Fourth track “Lost in You” is a future hit single and is practically bagging up its belongings for its inevitable trip to the top of the charts. Those turned off by the last album's popular ballad will find nothing of interest here, and “Last To Know” continues much in the same vein offering love/loss lyrics that sound a bit out of place on a Three Days Grace album. Once again, Adam’s vocal delivery seems a bit too forced - as if he is trying to imply a catchy hook instead of just letting it come naturally as the song progresses. This brings up another point that needs to be mentioned: the majority of the hooks and choruses to be found on this album are quite weak and anticlimactic in nature. In contrast, those that were found in the band’s back catalog were much catchier - on average, anyway - and the band seemed like they successfully implemented the hooks properly throughout.
Three Days Grace has a nasty habit of offering up “dumb” rockers; those that merely repeat their respective song titles over and over again to get some point across that doesn’t really need to be mentioned in the first place. Songs like “Break”, “Bully”, “Goin’ Down”, and the title track all turn out to be examples of boring and lazy songwriting - efforts that turn out to be no more than recycled songs that the band has already released years ago. Three Days Grace sound as if they are running out of song ideas - both instrumentally and lyrically - and their attempts to make up for their lack of inspiration are generic and mediocre at best. If this is the best that they can offer after three years of being in a band together, they should probably reconsider their chemistry as effective songwriters.
Three Days Grace are back, and they've brought with them “rehash number two” of their famous debut album. Life Starts Now
is likely to do relatively well in the music market - thanks mostly in part to the band’s popular name and a few successful singles. However, as whole, Life Starts Now
suffers from poor songwriting, horrible lyrics, and a simple instrumental aspect of the music that has just now begun to grow. I hate to break it to the band, but life started a long time ago - it's a shame that the Canadians boys have just now gotten a glimpse and feel of it. As history has proven, life contains a certain aspect that causes it to evolve and grow stronger over time - it is this very characteristic that Three Days Grace do not seem to have. Life Starts Now
is a generic and recycled package that's been done again and again by other similar bands in the past.