Three Days’ Grace (aka 3DG) released their sophomore effort (“One-X”) in 2006, 3 years off the heels of their debut self-titled work. “One-X” was hailed as a major (and well-liked) change in 3DG’s sound as compared to the self-titled album of 2003, but “Life Starts Now”, 3 years after One-X, is THE major change in sound for 3DG. Comparably, One-X and the self-titled may well have been the same album.
Don’t get me wrong here, I love the sound of the new album. It definitely “doesn’t sound like 3DG”, but it still sounds pretty darn good. Although less unique than the previous two albums, the angry lyrical content still stays the same despite the change in style towards a more generic heavy metal and alternative rock style as opposed to 3DG’s archetypal loud verses of One-X and somewhat “herky-jerky” style of all their previous work.
As for the songs, there are a few tracks I found that really stood out and helped make “Life Starts Now” a stellar album. I don’t care much for the overrated single “Break” (5/10 at best), but the following track, “World So Cold”, is an epitome of what heavy metal (3DG style or otherwise) should be. I’d give it at least 9/10. The swinging, almost hard rock style “The Good Life” (6/10), in a ways a sequel to One-X’s “Riot”, isn’t terribly melodic but serves well as Riot’s sequel and has distinct sound from the rest of the album (and the rest of 3DG, for that matter).
And don’t ignore the building sequences and chords of “No More” (7/10). I could almost hear which notes were coming up ahead, having known 3DG’s typical melodies from before (despite the fact that this song, like the others, sounded overall unlikely to the old 3DG). The lyrics are also to not be missed, I really associated well with them personally. “Last To Know” (6/10), for the most part a softer ballad, slightly resembles One-X’s “Over And Over” in sound. “Bully” (6/10) is an extremely rough song, both in lyrics and melody, but I figured out the title to it within 2 seconds of the intro to the track, and by the end of the 10 second intro, I figured out who the bully in question was. See [or listen] for yourself to find out who the Bully was!
“Goin’ Down” (7/10) again trends towards this hard rock-style trend (think The Exies or Papa Roach). Although somewhat generic for the hard rock genre, it’s still good.
Lastly, here’s an unexpected great similarity to One-X… Life Starts Now’s final track is also its title track, and moves from the anger and hopelessness of the rest of the album into optimism and possibility, much like One-X’s own final and title track.
Overall, if you like 3DG, you’ll probably like this album. Namely as if you like 3DG, you probably like similar but not quite the same bands, and you’ll still enjoy the sound of this CD!!