Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Beeze Reviews Burn Burn

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In the past I have reviewed restaurants, movies, and a Dane Cook concert...Why do I do this...Because most critics suck, and I will always feel my opinion is much better then most!
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So today I'm reviewing the latest album from Our Lady Peace...One of my favorite bands...Most reviews come out before a album or movie are released...And most critics don't take the time to listen or view more then a couple of times...I've taken a couple of weeks...Mainly because I don't want to look like a douche bag fan...Okay, I may be a douche bag fan, but I took the time to listen to every song many times...So here we go...
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For years Our Lady Peace has had to deal with their record label giving them crap to write "hit singles." It seems to be a common story in the music business...Labels trying to tell artists what to do...Now OLP is free from their label, and Produced "Burn Burn" on their own...Guess what? Some douche at Sony is kicking himself right now...Not only is this excellent OLP album, but it may be the most "Radio Friendly"...Although being in Cleveland, it's been a long time since I've heard a good radio station....Most the time it's jumping around fro song to song...Actually Most the time i'm listening to CDs or XM...But that's not the point right now...
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When I heard the first single "All You Did Was Save My Life" on the radio I was a little nervous...My co-worker, Jurk and I both thought it had a hint of Goo Goo Dolls to it...This scared me...But after listening a few more times, and listening closely...I realized this was OLP without a doubt...
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The poet that is Raine Maida, picks up where his solo disc "The Hunter's Lullaby" left off, opening himself up for all to see...I've always admired his lyric writing...The rest of the band, guitarist Steve Mazur, bassist Duncan Coutts, and drummer Jeremy Taggart, sound revitalized and crisper then ever...
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Through out the album I was blown away by Mazur's guitar work...he drops the gloves on this one and plays some old school rock & roll guitar...(sorry if the hockey metaphor gave you douche chills)...But seriously, this is some of the best guitar I've heard from OLP...And honestly, the rhythm section of Taggart and Coutts sound stronger then ever...I guess Bob Rock isn't the only guy who can get the best out of musicians...Our Lady Peace seems to have gotten the best out of themselves...
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The second track on the disc is the uplifting "Dreamland"...Great music, great lyrics...One of my tests for music is if my kids like it...(They both [7 and 4] love OLP...Seriously they're mad that the Mrs. and I are going to the show here in the Cleve and they aren't)...My son can sing every word of "Thief" and "In Repair"...Well his new favorite is "Dreamland" and he's got it down...If a 4 year old can rock out to a song and learn the lyrics in a matter of a couple days...That's a good song in my book...
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Next is "Monkey Brains"...This one jumps right into your face...Taggart, Coutts, and Mazur show you where they're from on this one...Straight up rock & roll...Then OLP slows it down...Just to come right back and blast you in the face...I've seen videos on YouTube...And they tear it up live too!
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The next song is "The End Is Where We Begin." This is one of my favorite songs on the album...The Lyrics are great and the music strengthens them...Every band has those certain songs that become staples in their set list and this feels like another one for OLP...
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Then comes "Escape Artist"...It opens up sounding like something from "The Hunter's Lullaby" and then the band joins in with the stadium sized chorus "you're the ghost" and it's amazing...A really powerful tune, and it leaves you wanting more...Some of the best songs do that...Leave you wanting more...I hope OLP does this one live when they come to The House of Blues in Cleveland August 20th...
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That's followed up with "Refuge"...A song about being a father in this screwed up world and raising your kids to be aware of it...While still giving them hope...When I heard this song I thought to myself...'This sounds like something U2 would write.' I don't mean that as a knock on OLP...In my world that's a compliment...
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As the album goes on, you can hear much of the writing is talking about relationships...And the next tack does more of the same..."Never Get Over You" could very well be the return of the power ballad...That isn't a knock either...It's been too long since we've heard a good rock ballad, with the singer wearing his heart on his sleeve...Any man who's man who's married or at least been in love can relate to the line..."There's no hiding, from your silence."
My wife immediately fell in love with this one...She tried to be nice and say it's not as good as the one I wrote for her...But she's full of sh!t...Of course it's better then the stuff I've written...She's just a good person...
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After that comes probably the most up-tempo song on the album, "White Flags." This one is my favorite on the album...We all have songs that we feel we can relate to...And this is one of those for me...The line, "this whole world has gone crazy, God's got a little lazy" is a thought I've had countless times...This is another song I hope to hear live...It's got such a great energy to it...I can see the whole place going crazy...
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Then there's "Signs Of Life." This is another one that has a similar feel to Maida's solo stuff...Another great line I wish I would have come up with..."The sound of quiet is deafening"...This song puts you in a place...A lonely place...Feeling kinda lost...And it's done beautifully...Including a sweet, trippy, bluesy solo by Mazur...
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The album ends with "Paper Moon." When you write a letter, you always end it with your signature...Well at least you did back when people wrote letters...That's what "Paper Moon" is...OLP's signature...It's everything you want and expect from them, plus a little more...That's what great musicians do...Give more then what you expect...And yes, I've seen videos of this one too..."WOW!" That's what I said after Steve Mazur's guitar solo...
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It may have taken awhile to make...But Our Lady Peace have put out a great album, and they did it without a record label, and without a high priced, high profile producer...(More people may be looking to come to Raine Maida's studio)
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Many people have been down on the music business, and with good reason in this silly, American Idol, flavor of the week world...But maybe it's better off having not so many hands all over it, trying to put their two cents in...
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Checkout OLP's website... http://www.ourladypeace.net/ ...And if you can catch them live, do it...I can't wait to see them at The House of Blues in Cleveland...I'm looking forward to hearing the classics...But I'm even more excited to hear the new stuff live...Maybe I do sound like just another fan...Tough sh!t.
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Later, The Beeze.

4 comments:

-A said...

I have to admit, I'm not an OLP fan, but after reading your review I'm going to check out this album!

Thanks for the heads up!

The BEEZE said...

-A, I think you'll enjoy the lyrics...I think you may like Raine Maida's solo stuff too...

Thanks for reading.

3rdStoneFromTheSun said...

i will have to check this out

never even heard of this group

The BEEZE said...

3rd, OLP broke out in the mid to late '90s...I first saw them live when they were the first of two openers for Van Halen...I've been hooked ever since.