Review Summary: 3DG finally matures....a bit....
Post-grunge. Countless number of bands are based on this genre. Bands like Nickelback, Bush etc are considered to be the proponents of the genre. Sometime in early 2000s,Three Days Grace came along with their self titled debut album. Then they followed it up with an even bigger selling sophomore album One-X. Despite their huge success, critics were always a little harsh on this band for their simple, angst lyrics, basic three chord progressions etc. But there was no denying the band was extremely accessible. Adam Gontier (Lead singer) has a voice that simply grabs attention. So how does the Canadian rockers third album stack up??? Is it just a rehash of their first two releases??? Or do they finally improve their song writing and instrumental skills????
Instrumentally, yes, they have matured. Songs like "Bitter Taste", "Break" show off guitarist Barry Stock's soloing skills. It's nothing technically complicated of course, but it adds an interesting layer to 3DG's usual bland song structure. Drummer Neil Sanderson has his moments with songs like "Bitter Taste","No More" and "Going Down". Of particular interest is "Bitter Taste", which, especially towards the end, showcases the band jamming for the first time like a proper rock band. Production wise this album is very good with thundering drum beats and crunchy riffs, but unfortunately Brad's bass lines often gets lost in the mix. But since this is the case with almost all albums today it's not a major issue.
There are certain duds of course. "Without You" seems to meander without any purpose. "World So Cold" and "Someone Like You" try to be those "emotional" songs but are let down by cringe worthy lyrics and boring riffs. On the other hand "No More" could easily be the most epic song 3DG has written. It begins with beautiful guitar strumming and explodes into an emotionally packed chorus. " Going Down" and "The Good Life" have thrashy guitar riffs and are fun rocker songs. Adam gets to show his vocal prowess with the piano ballad "Last To Know".
3DG have certainly matured as a band. Being a mainstream post-grunge band and satisfying both the fans and critics is a very hard job. Life Starts Now sees them trying to do just that. This is easily their best album in their discography (including Transit Of Venus). Fans of any post-grunge band, if you haven't listened to this band, give this album a shot. Chances are that you'll be hooked. Others, if you are looking for some decent album, again first give the tracks in "Tracks To Listen To” a try.
Tracks to listen to: