I will keep this simple. If you liked 14 Shades of Gray, half of Break the Cycle or most of Chapter 5 then you will like this. It’s as simple as that. Staind has done nothing to progress or grow as a band since Dysfunction. They have continually churned out the same saccharine, existential, middle of the road music, and people like myself keep buying it. Some are hoping for them to deliver something hard like Dysfunction again, while others like spending money on the same album over and over again.
Sadly, people will rate this 5 stars and all I can say about that is that this is absolutely not a 5 star album. It’s not even a 4. 5 should typically be reserved for a masterpiece. 4 should be a solid release. At best, this album is a 3. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Some pretty good tracks, some so-so tracks and the rest is fodder. There are no outstanding tracks. There aren’t even any great tracks. Pardon Me is closest the band comes to a great track, and it might bore some people anyway. Rainy Day Parade will be touted as the “hard track” that harkens back to the old days, but it’s really just guitar set up with distortion. In the scheme of things, it’s actually a pretty corny and boring record.
Of course it’s impossible for me to truly say what you will really like or not like on this album. This review is coming from someone that keeps holding his breath for a good follow-up to Dysfunction. Break the Cycle had great moments often. 14 Shades had maybe 3 good tracks, but the rest were boring and lacking of any passion or artistry. Chapter 5 was kind of cheesy, but I ended up liking half the tracks in spite of the that.
Sadly, Staind sounds almost the same as they did 7 years ago, and they’ve done 4 albums in that time. They have literally become another Nickelback, and it frustrates me to see such a waste of potential. Hmm, maybe that should be the name of the next record? Either way, consider this fan disappointed again. I will listen to the album a few more times and then it will rot on my shelf. I am pretty sure that it will be the same for a majority of you.
Unfortunately I have so much confidence in the band; I will anxiously await the next release in 2010.