Theory of a Deadman
Scars & Souvenirs


3.0
good

Review

by Batareziz USER (40 Reviews)
February 9th, 2018 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The album does not possess any originality, but what it has can hit the spot. Sometimes.

The Canadian rockers from Theory of a Deadman never were favorites among the enlightened critics and more sophisticated music lovers. “Nickelback clone”, “spawn of Chad Kruger’s producing attempts”, “bland and tasteless”, “one of the worst bands of all time” (these are not literal quotes but close to what you can find on the net) are only some of the epithets expressed. One can easily imagine that the amount of swill poured on the band would fill up large volume. Now the question is whether all of this is fair and valid. Let’s try and assess the objectivity of these claims through their third (and most successful commercially) album Scars & Souvenirs released in 2008.

Frankly speaking some of the comments happen to be valid, for instance when they’re called a Nickelback clone. While listening to their two previous LPs (as well as this one) the origin for such comparison is clear. Just like the Canadian colleagues Theory of a Deadman play standard, even somewhat cookie-cutter, 21st century hard rock with songs blatantly aimed at radio. The whole Scars & Souvenirs is stuffed with conventional but solidly crafted tracks – be that more aggressive (like So Happy, Got It Made, Sacrifice) or ballad-y ones (Not Meant to Be, All or Nothing, Wait for Me), which can easily end up on the albums of many of their contemporaries without any feeling of discord. The songs have a minimum amount of big but simple hooks, enough to get stuck in the head of an unsuspecting listener at the same time avoiding wearying him or her. All of it is wrapped in an envelope of uncomplicated riffs and rhythms that fully correspond with the conservative approach of the bands who broke in on the radio in the beginning of the millennium. Theory of a Deadman can be easily included among them, confirming the abovementioned claim of blandness.

'Then how could this album sell over a million of copies"', can rightfully ask the reader. It would seem that the answer is quite clear and was already mentioned in the previous paragraph. Despite their conventional nature, the songs are executed with appropriate understanding of the pop music rules, devoid of unnecessary length and lasting only the prerequisite 3-4 minutes. There is yet another aspect – the lyrics. They are simple, easy-to-understand and provoke the necessary associations. To be honest, who did not have similar thoughts or impulses in a situation close to something described in Little Smirk" Who can not understand the simple sentimentalities of Heaven (Little by Little) and End of the Summer" Bad Girlfriend does not seem so preposterous, given that there are girls that want to be “bad” and guys who chase after this type. It might sound ridiculous but Theory of a Deadman and the rest all follow the clearly-defined rules formed in the 1960s by The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks and others. The only difference between the masters and the students is complete lack of any innovations. So it is probably wrong to call the poor Canadians one of the worst bands of all time. They are just middle-of-the-road. Which might be even worse, actually.

Summing up it is safe to say that albums like Scars & Souvenirs have a right to exist. Obviously, they are primarily aimed at unsophisticated listeners or those that only start on their path to real music. And indeed it does not possess any originality or freshness, but what it has can hit the spot. Such pop (hard) rock does not really commit to anything.

P.S. Nevertheless Theory of a Deadman have one trait that allows them to stand out a little bit. These guys, unlike their contemporaries, know how to laugh, even at themselves. Among the swarm of songs full of angst and despair some humor and tongue in cheek really help to dilute such gloomy sauce.



Recent reviews by this author
Rick Springfield Hard to HoldRick Springfield Living in Oz
Extreme Saudades de RockExtreme III Sides to Every Story
Extreme ExtremeBlue Oyster Cult Curse of the Hidden Mirror
user ratings (295)
Chart.
2.3
average


Comments:Add a Comment 
bloc
February 9th 2018


47178 Comments


Ah, good ol' Nickelback Jr.

Digging: The Presets - Apocalypso

Batareziz
February 9th 2018


159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Yes and no, bloc :-)

Kalopsia
February 9th 2018


2527 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

i'd probably almost like this band if it weren't for the god-awful cringy lyrics on every song i've ever heard by them.

Batareziz
February 9th 2018


159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Hey, I'm not saying you should like the band, Kalopsia ;-) I used to dig them a lot, now it is more for nostalgic reasons.

Oh, and I never thought their lyrics were cringe-worthy. Well, maybe in most cases.

bloc
February 9th 2018


47178 Comments


I used to listen to No Surprise a lot back in the day, so I feel ya on the nostalgia

Batareziz
February 9th 2018


159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Oooh, No Suprise. Great song. And I like that album. Maybe need to relisten.

Well it ain't no surprise that you turn on me and leave...

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 9th 2018


1082 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

this album is garbage

Digging: Blood/Impetigo - Salvation... To The Dead Antefatto

Batareziz
February 9th 2018


159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

So be it, Bloon. I'm not the one to argue with that.

Toondude10
February 9th 2018


12152 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

there's a couple of okay songs on here but overall it's still pretty bad

Digging: Underoath - Define the Great Line

Shamus248
February 9th 2018


339 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Got it Made is my favorite on here. probably my favorite Theory song in general, even tho that's a very short list.

Digging: Montgomery Gentry - Here's to You

Batareziz
February 10th 2018


159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Interesting choice, Shamus. I think I prefer Little Smirk, End of the Summer and Sacrifice from this album. Some of their better songs. It's not saying much though.

Batareziz
February 10th 2018


159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

By the way, can anyone explain to me why the lyrics on this album, for instance, are cringy-worthy and god-awful? Sure, they're not highbrow poetry or anything, just decent. So why then?

Toondude10
February 10th 2018


12152 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

because it's what mainstream radio loves and the only reason why this band exists is to make it off in spades.



It's another case where they treat music as a means to make money rather than have an actual passion for their craft. The sad thing is that people still buy into it.

Batareziz
February 10th 2018


159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Okay, thanks, Toondude.

But on the other hand it is a good starting point for those willing to dig in deeper. At least, this kind of music was for me personally. That's why I don't hate them. The band is no longer one of my favourites, but I'm always grateful that they showed me the right way.

Toondude10
February 10th 2018


12152 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

if this is the "right way" I'd hate to see the wrong way

Batareziz
February 10th 2018


159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

"The right way" as in a way to different and, yes, better music than what they represent.

Like 3 Doors Down, for example... Just joking.

You don't think you can have passion for your craft, but also make money?

Ikarus14
February 10th 2018


1071 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Jesus on ice skates, I can't stand these feckers. Any time I tried it's just cringe endorsing on every note.

BlackMalachite
February 11th 2018


2537 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is fun for when you're going through a bad break up

Toondude10
February 11th 2018


12152 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

when you're in sixth grade maybe

bloc
February 11th 2018


47178 Comments


Damn what playa already had a gf in sixth grade??



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy