It has been since 2005 that we’ve heard anything from the Canadian band Our Lady Peace, known to most for their string of alternative rock hits in the late 90s (including “Superman’s Dead” and “4 AM”). The distinctive vocals and unusual inflections of Raine Maida may not be pleasing to everyone’s ears, but one thing these guys have consistently done is write good pop rock songs under the guise of “alternative”. Long-time fans often complain that the band’s sound has evolved to be too commercial and mainstream since 2002’s “Gravity”, which spawned the awesome hit, “Somewhere Out There”, but I for one have enjoyed them more and more with each release.
Which brings us to their new record, “Burn Burn”, the seventh album. While “Burn Burn” was hyped as a return to their older sound, I actually think it is a logical extension that picks up where they left off with “Healthy in Paranoid Times”. In other words, “Burn Burn” is a slick and well-produced record, full of hooks and more straightforward lyrics, and finds Maida sticking to a more accessible vocal tone, minimizing those strange inflections and grating falsetto that were his trademark in the 90s. To me, these are good things. Everything from the ultra catchy single, “All You Did Was Save My Life” to the upbeat and climatic bonus tracks pull you in with the hypnotic vocals, memorable melodies, and sonic brilliance. A very worthy addition to the Our Lady Peace discography.
One pet peeve – I really hate when “bonus” tracks are included on a “Deluxe Edition”. Go ahead and include a DVD if you want on a “Deluxe Edition”, but put ALL the audio tracks on the standard release. The standard release is only 10 tracks and the extra two included on the “Deluxe Edition” (“Time Bomb” and “The Right Stuff”) are excellent rockers. The standard release needs those rockers because otherwise it is too ballad heavy. Fans should have been able to buy all 12 tracks on the standard edition without an inflated price!
iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 11, 12