Review Summary: I stand by the fact that it is basically a rehash, but it is a good one at that.
"Scars & Souvenirs" was smashing success for Canadians, and it is always a hard task to follow up such album. I loved their last CD, so I expected this one to be at least as good the albums before. So how did "The Truth Is..." turn out to be?
It is a very good follow-up. Well, I do not see it being superior to "Scars & Souvenirs" at all, but I think TOAD at least did good job staying honest to themselves. One thing that really makes it inferior to its predecesor is that it is basically...well...the same. There is no much difference in the songwriting, almost nothing new lyrically, and the production is virtually unchanged. It is known that if band had a very successful effort, they will for the most part release the same sounding new one.
With that being said, I really like "The Truth Is...". I stand by the fact that it is basically a rehash, but it is a good one at that. It was written by the time Tyler Connolly went through divorce with his wife, and you get that feel from the biggest part of the album. The lyrics are again mostly oriented around breakups, with occasional breaks. There are roughly 3 songs ("Lowlife", "Head Above Water", " We Were Men") that are not about relationship, and only one is really a love song, which I gotta say it is the blandest song on the intire record and easily my least favorite, that song being "Easy to Love You", talking about how much Connolly loves this girl and wants to marry her, backed up by nothing more than standard chords played in the most boring way possible. Also, didn't you go through divorce?
Anyway... The constant theme throughout the album is as I already mentioned - a breakup. There are 2 types of songs in that category here: 1) a hard rocking sexist track, or 2) heartfelt breakup ballad. Seriously, if you go through the tracklist, "Bitch Came Back" and the title track already suggest which type of lyrics are used in these songs. While I understand hatred towards them, "Bitch Came Back" is actually a parody of a kid song "The Cat Came Back", and the music paired with Tyler's antiwomen lyrics is actually a lot of fun, while the title track has a nice touch of ukulele, paired with "I really hate your face, you were never all that hot in the first place lyrics" lyrics. Hate it all you want, but isn't that what every man really thinks to himself after he gets dumped? Not to mention the intire song is ridiculous which makes it so good.
Now the problem "The Truth Is..." has the last record avoided for the most part, and that is the ballads. While they pretty much all worked on "Scars & Souvenirs", half of the ballads here feel more generic and watered down than anything else. Sure, " Hurricane" is one of the best and most creative ballads in their discography", and "Head Above Water" is also great lighter song about going through tough times with some emotional guitars, the rest is kind of...meh. "Out of My Head" is just 4 pop chords played in the most generic way (even though i kinda like it), and already mentioned "Easy to Love You" is just as bland. Other ballads are pretty fine, "Love is Hell" is even good, but there is less replay factor here than it was last time.
The real high points tho are the lead single "Lowlife" and the closing track "We Were Men". The former is kind of like "Hate My Life" type of song, but much more hard rocking with great riff, catchy lyrics and a lot of fun. The latter is probably, lyrically, one of the best they've ever written, speaking about military and soldiers, while having powerful chords and emotional solo, with chanting the lyric 'We Were Men' at the end which ends the records greatly, but on an odd note, since majority of the songs were love-oriented.
Overall, while yeah, the ideas are kind of recycled from the last CD, i can't help it but enjoy this album almost as much. I do not have problem with band tryin' to pull off an album with the similar sound as the last one. Really the only problem is that a few songs fall into more bland than enjoyable territory, especially as the record gets close to the end. Not as good as its predecesor, but still worth checking out, except if you are a diehard TOAD hater. Then I cannot help you.
Faves: Lowlife, Head Above Water, Bitch Came Back
Least faves: Easy to Love You, Out of My Head