Review Summary: Overall a HUGE improvement from 14 Shades of Gray. Some great songs with great lyrics. Other than that, it is lke Break The Cycle, which is a good thing.
Staind is a band that has gotten much hatred in the last 10 years. Their first real CD (to me), Dysfunction
, was released on a major level, although they did release an album before that called Tormented
. Signing with Fred Durst, he judged Staind and actually hated them, at least until he heard their music. By the time they released their Dysfunction CD, they were labeled as a nu-metal band, because there was other stuff out there that was nu-metal, and they just threw Staind in to the mix. Staind is more of a mainstream rock band than a nu-metal band. This release Chapter V
, is Staind’s fifth CD (or fourth, depending on how you look at it), and is a real improvement over that piece of crap that is 14 Shades of Gray
. There is three, maybe four good songs on that CD. After that, they just tend to sound samey.
Aaron Lewis: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Mike Mushok: Guitar
Johnny April: Bass
Jon Wysocki: Drums
After Staind’s best, and second (or third) release, Break the Cycle
came out, they released some really good songs. I was hoping 14SOG would do the same, but unfortunately, it went down the ****ter after about 4-5 songs, and that was after the first 4-5 songs, with maybe one or two highlights later on the CD. They rebounded well with Chapter V, and released Staind’s latest single, Right Here
. Musically, it is the best song Staind has written for a single, and the message is great, saying that he will be right here waiting, no matter what the cause. Mike uses some great harmonic work, and also some good riffs. The drums really stand out in this songs as well. This song is better than anything on 14SOG, and shows that this album is a real improvemet. The next single is Falling
, and it sort of describes the band itself.
“i already told you
that falling is easy
its gettting back up
that becomes the problem
becomes the problem
if you dont believe you can find a way out you become the problem
become the problem”
These are the lyrics to the chorus, and it describes the band between BTC and Ch. V. They fell in 14SOG, and are trying to rebound in this album, which I think they have done so. This is one of the few fast songs on the album, mainly because Staind tends to write more ballads on an album, which is fine, but when a fast song comes around, it better be good, and this is good. It is a motivational song, also giving the meaning that you should just get back up and try to get on the right path, and I don’t find any fault in it. A great choice for a second single.
The ballads on this album get kind of old after a while, but there are a few you should listen to. Devil
is one, mainly because it is a lyrically driven songs, and written in the seldom used key of A flat minor. Message has many interpretations, mine going that you should rethink about anyone. (Somebody thinks I might me mean or something, but I swear I am not.) That is the kind of message that Aaron is trying to get across, and does a very good job at doing so. It is the longest song on the album, at 5:00 minutes sharp. Take This
is also very good. Long bass intro with a really effective guitar effect used. Although the lyrics are somewhat depressing, it does not describe my relationship by any means. They are very well written and the cool guitar in the background adds to the effect. It is a song that switches from major to minor often, and it is different how that works, because if you were going to write a minor song, you would keep it in a minor key, but this works just as well. It has a more progressive feel to it for me. It reminds me of Epiphany, from Break the Cycle, except with better instrumentation.
The four other fast songs on the CD are very good, at least musically. They are Paper Jesus, Cross to Bear, Please
and King of All Excuses
. Paper Jesus has nothing to do with the title. It is about money and greed and how all of us just get sucked into this pattern of wanting stuff. Good message, fast guitars, good drums, although Aaron could have fixed up his singing just a tad bit on the song. Cross to Bear is one of my two fast favorites, as it starts out with a somewhat annoying, but high and promising guitar riff. Many different meaings come to mind, but it could be about something that anybody could relate to, saying that we have to carry our own burdens and finish them out. The drums are exceptional, the harmonics are in place and add to the effect. The solo that whines in the background also is a factor to a good song. The bridge is very quick, and the song ends kind of quickly for me. It is one of the better ones. Please, much like Cross to Bear, has a deep meaning. It is saying somebody is trying to change him, but he can’t live up to it, but is working towards it, trying to have them change to help him, or anybody for that matter. The drum intro with the guitar fits perfectly for the song. It carries out throughout the whole song. Another good song. King of All Excuses, as said in another review, reminds me of For You from Break the Cycle. It is in the same format, but well done. The baritone guitars are used correctly this time, using for a fast, low key song. The message is about why people blame stuff on others for no reason at all.
This album overall is a major improvement from 14 Shades of Gray. The guitars, Aarons lyrics and singing quality, the drums especially, were really improved in ways of song structure and even the overall production. Some of the ballads, unfortunately sounded alike, and that ruins some of the album, like the opener Run Away and Schizophrenic Conversations
. At a first listen, I though, “Oh no, it is going to be 14 Shades of Gray all over again.” Other than those two songs, this album is good. It was a great way to dig themselves out of the hole. There were even a few solos on the album, in songs like Schizophrenic Conversations, Cross to Bear, Everything Changes
Cross to Bear
King of All Excuses
I know it is a long recommending list, but these are most of the highlights and listenable songs on the album.