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The Illusion Of Progress

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  • I’m an older music fan. I’ve lived thru the Classic Rock era, Prog Rock, Punk, New Wave, Pop, Glam, Hair Metal, Speed Metal, Reggae, etc. And I enjoy everything from Jazz to Black Metal. I’ve seen it all, boys and girls. And I have to tell all you fake, pseudo, poser, music reviewers, this is probably one of the worst eras for Rock music I’ve ever witnessed in my life. Most of the Metal and Rock has absolutely nothing to say! And no way to say it! There is almost no originality anymore. The bands all sound exactly the same. British Synth Pop, Death Metal, Post Metal, Metalcore, Mathcore, and yes, especially Nu-Metal. And songwriting? Forget it. It’s gone the way of the dinosaur. No more Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, Robin Trower, or Bad Company. I can sample a 100 new Metal or Pop albums and I hear maybe one that sounds unique. No one will remember the bulk of these bands. I’ll remember Staind.

    “Hey, man. It’s not cool to listen to Staind anymore. Dude, they’ve lost their edge.” Afraid of what your friends might say? Maybe your friends are fools. So, to you music snobs that make it a hobby to bash this band because it’s not the kind of music you enjoy, you wouldn’t recognize a well crafted Rock song if it jumped up and bit you on the nipple. I fart in your general direction, sirs. It all sounds like sour grapes to me. You wish that they would continue recording in the style of their first two albums over and over, but you complain that they’re recording the same album over and over. You wish you were making the kind of money that this band is making. (I know, I know, “It’s not about the money. It’s about the music.” Yeah, that’s what musicians say when they’re not making any.) You only wish you could affect people with music the way that Aaron Lewis does. What a bunch of frustrated musicians and welps. You complain that all Aaron does is whine. Take a look in the mirror. If you’re all so self-righteously happy in your musical proclivities, I have a Doris Day album you can have. Right now.

    For my money, along with Travis Meeks from Days of The New, Aaron Lewis is probably one of THE greatest straight-up singer/songwriters I’ve heard in Music in the last twenty years. PERIOD! I know that’s a bold statement, but I STAIND behind it. (Oooo, sorry.) I’m in my 40s, and the last time I broke up with a chick, I wasn’t listening to a Frank Sinatra album, Radiohead, Tool, or Emperor’s Anthems to The Welkin at Dusk. I was playing a Staind album. Me, I’ll take Aaron Lewis and Staind when I’m feelin’ down. Everytime.

    How many artists can write a song about their daughters, and make it work? Do any Rock artists know how to just sing a simple song, anymore? Not many. Aaron Lewis’ lyrics are tragic, sad, tender, cathartic, heartfelt, painful, and just downright beautiful. His words are full of alienation, hope, despair, love, longing, frustration, and life. All the things that are required for a songwriter to speak to this music fan.

    I have to agree that these other bands are just copycatting this dreaded Nu-Metal style. Nickelback, Breaking Benjamin, Evans Blue, etc. (This sub-categorization of music is the dumbest part of Rock music to ever come down the pike. What a bunch of alienating nonsense, invented by music snobs with nothing better to do.) There is nothing wrong with enjoying different styles of music. As long as you can appreciate the best that a particular genre has to offer. Staind is THE best at what they do. They are original. Everything else is a pale imitation. The bands that progress beyond the limits of their nature and experiment too much, usually fold. If I like Staind, I wanna hear Staind. I’m pleased that I can count on Staind sounding like Aaron’s cries in the night. So what if people call it Nu-Metal or Emo? For some, life is painful. For others, the world is on fire. “Bartender, I’ll have a Xanax and a Red Bull.” You never get depressed? Yeah, right. I bet you never get any chicks either. So what if the heavier edge is gone from their music? You should have figured that out by now, spendthrift. Aaron Lewis and Staind are mellowing. And maturing. (Yeah, I said it. Wanna fight? Anytime, music snobs. I’ll run you over with my Harley.) And unlike the last Cannibal Corpse album, I can actually sing along with their music. Which just becomes more dignified with every album they put out.

    Thanks, for gettin’ me thru some tough times, Aaron. I dig your music, man. This is a f$%king GREAT album! Keep making goods ones. And I’ll keep buying ‘em.

    As long as you turn it way up, this album is heavy enough, in all the right places. Constructed around Aaron’s lyrics, this one definitely contains the softer, soulful side of their sound at times. Which I prefer, seeing as how I’m as old as Methuselah and all. When all is said and done, it’s a beautiful mix. (Another music snob fallacy: If music has a commercial feel, it’s worthless. An absolutely closed-minded and ludicrous viewpoint.) It would be apropos to take Staind out of the sticky morass of Nu-Metal and place them in the wide open field of Music. I see the album title as a tongue-in-cheek stab at critics that accuse them of making the same music over and over again. Or Aaron has discovered a hard truth about getting older: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Works either way. It moves me enough to give it Five Star status. Best Riff: Rainy Day Parade! Best Song: It’s a TIE! Tangled Up In You! Wow! and Raining Again! If you APPRECIATE Staind, you don’t want to miss this album. It’s one of their BEST, and a worthy addition to their catalog.

    Everyone that hates this band, your buddies just voted you out of the band, and your mom is yelling at you to clean up your room.

    Everyone else,


    Posted on December 27, 2009