Our Lady Peace
Burn Burn



by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
November 23rd, 2009 | 9 replies

Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Burn Burn" is an accessible and entertaining listen, with a few spectacular tracks.

It can definitely be said that Our Lady Peace has changed since the mid 1990’s. This Canadian group arrived on the music scene in 1995 with debut album “Naveed,” which was indicative of-their alternative and post-grunge sound. Our Lady Peace was defined by their perfection of acoustic guitars laced with coarse and distorted electric guitars. Lead singer Raine Maida made a name for himself with his distinct rough, and at times falsetto vocals. The success of “Naveed” was heightened by follow-up “Clumsy” which is arguably the band’s strongest record. The band continued to release critically acclaimed records in the late 1990’s and 2000’s until “Gravity” was recorded in 2002. “Gravity” was criticized for its commercial feel, much attributed to lead single Somewhere Out There. Maida’s abrasive vocals were gone, instead he utilized a much cleaner, more radio-friendly voice. Our Lady Peace seemed to be on the decline, for 2005’s “Healthy in Paranoid Times” received mixed evaluations.

Our Lady Peace’s “Burn Burn” could easily be considered the band’s comeback album. It’s commercial and accessible, and yet emotional and shows flashes of brilliance. Much of “Burn Burn” is of a mid-tempo style, propelled by soaring guitars and Maida’s powerful vocals. Although the band featured an accelerated and aggressive style in their previous works such as in tracks Superman’s Dead and Starseed, this is virtually non-existent here. Lead single All You Did Was Save My Life, is an indication of this, it shouts with accessibility and simplicity, and is a ready-made top 40 song. Not to say that “Burn Burn” runs entirely on these means. The End is Where We Begin outlines the record very well; it follows the mid-tempo, soaring guitar formula almost entirely. The album does suffer to an extent due to a lack of variety, although tracks such as Monkey Brains would beg to differ. Monkey Brains is the most belligerent song that “Burn Burn” has to offer; it makes tremendous use of heavily distorted guitars and fearful lyrics. “They’re coming after you! They’re coming after you!” Just when you thought the blistering effects would continue, the song breaks completely, into an acoustic and keyboard-driven bridge. Maida passionately sings, “Generations trying to find a home, a thousand miles away from what they know. It's time to go, It's time to go.” Monkey Brains is undoubtedly the most original and well-developed track on the album, it’s aggressive and beautiful sections are nothing short of brilliant.

Monkey Brains does not serve as the only gem of the album however, both Dreamland and Paper Moon are more than worthy of mentions. Dreamland is hopeful and emotional, featuring some of the best guitar work and vocals on the record. The outro is the most powerful section here, lead guitarist Steve Mazur is wailing on his guitar as Maida expressively sings, “I’m not coming down.” Our Lady Peace may have even surpassed the luster of Monkey Brains with Paper Moon, for Maida’s vocal range is tremendous, especially with a falsetto on “I was thinking that if you knew a way up, then I’d like to go with you. And we can burn out like candles under that paper moon.” Mazur is shredding like never before on this track, and the outro effect is similar to that of Dreamland.

Unfortunately, “Burn Burn” is really only astounding on tracks Monkey Brains, Dreamland, and Paper Moon, with nothing else really standing out as excellent. The record itself though, is a solid and an entertaining listen, full of hooks and powerful melodies. A late 1990’s listener of Our Lady Peace would be stunned at the change from the coarse feel of the early albums to a refined and more accessible sound, but the change is not necessarily for the worse.

Recommended Tracks:
Monkey Brains
Never Get Over You
Paper Moon

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user ratings (81)
other reviews of this album
Mike Stagno EMERITUS (4)
Burn Burn isn't Naveed II, but it is their most consistent work since Spiritual Machines....

Comments:Add a Comment 
November 24th 2009


This is my attempt to write more reviews on recent albums

Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2009


Very nice review. I think I listened to Gravity once, and I heard the most recent single from this on the radio today.

November 24th 2009


Thanks Observer. This band is actually really solid, I would suggest checking out some of their albums.

November 24th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

The second half of Monkey Brains sort of reminds me of Superman's Dead

Have you heard The Right Stuff and Time Bomb? I don't know why those didn't make the album; Time Bomb is a little repetitive, but they're both really good.

November 24th 2009


Yeah I have heard them, pretty good songs especially The Right Stuff.

November 24th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

You're definitely improving as a reviewer, keep up the good work. Pos. Only thing I would like to point out: your summaries are getting a little generic. Make them a little more exciting if you can.

November 24th 2009


Thanks Nag, I should probably spend more time on my summaries to make them more interesting. I thinking about attempting maybe an original review approach in the near future as well.

Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2009


I remember listening to Raine Maida's solo album a couple of years ago; that was really good from what I remember.

I plan to look into this later.

November 24th 2009


No song of theirs will ever top 'In Repair'; that song got me through some hard times.

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