From the unrestrained passion and angst singer Adam Gountier wraps around every syllable on “Life Starts Now,” the first record from Three Days Grace in over three years, it’s clear the band’s time away from the spotlight was put to good use.
The album doesn’t go as nail-bitingly deep as some of their past work but still has its share of above average songs. The tracks are sequenced excellently, unraveling in clipped, fast-moving fashion.
Lead single “Break,” which crashed into the Hot 100 at no. 91 and is receiving regular rotation on rock stations, is actually one of the non-highlights with its subpar lyrics, at least in comparison to the better tracks like thoroughly awesome opener “Bitter Taste,” which rocks, sways and affects deeply. Gountier sounds righteous and absolutely compelling as he sings the words of contempt (“Your name, your face is all you have left now. Betrayed, disgraced, you’ve been erased.”) and cleansing (“I have escaped the bitter taste of you.”)
“Lost in You” could rack up some major radio play if it becomes a single, and while its song structure and lyrics are a little trite and predictable they come off as genuine. The same goes for “Someone Who Cares” and “Without You,” which are supported by some of the best playing on the album. The results are smooth and precise but still compelling.
“World So Cold” is memorable with its particularly impressive chorus and Neil Sanderson’s spot-on drumming, and the terrific “No More” also haunts with an awesome riffs that mark the beginning of the song, even if the song longs for a more restrained, quiet vocal performance than Gountier delivers. “Last to Know” is everything a late-2000s alt-rock ballad ought to be with plaintive, hearttugging, hurt, angry vocals and another melody that immediately grabs. It begs for attention and is designed to hit the listener in all the right places.
The album begins to fizzle down in quality toward the end, with fewer tracks calling attention to themselves, but “Life Goes On” definitely has some solid moments that show Three Days Grace in fine form.