2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Best Staind album in over a decade.,
This review is from: Staind (Audio CD)
*Snoop Dogg isn't on the new Staind album. Are these people deaf, stupid or have they never heard Aaron Lewis before? I know he's rapping but it's still clearly him. The rapper on 'Wannabe' IS Aaron Lewis. There is another version of 'Wannabe' that didn't make the record due to time constraints, apparently, and that version is due to be released' soon according to Mike Mushok, apparently*
Anyway! If you like Chapter I, II & III, then you'll like Chapter VII. It's as simple as. It's Staind's heaviest effort since Chapter III (Break the Cycle) and in fact, it goes even heavier... so technically, it's their heaviest since Chapter II (Dysfunction). There are some similarities between the heavier few tracks on Chapter V (Paper Jesus, Falling, King of all Excuses) and the songs on Chapter VII (Staind), but these new songs sound a lot more natural, and the focus was clear--lets make this the best that we can! I feel that the odd few heavy tracks on the not-so-heavy-as-a-whole Staind albums, are good (I really like 'Falling' from Chapter V), but on the whole they could've been a lot better had the intent and focus been as clear and strong as that on this new record.
Staind fans hoping for a lighter sounding album will be upset. I went to see them live last night and the annoying girl next to me kept on saying 'I want them to hurry up and play 'It's been awhile' so I can go...', it's these kind of 'fans' that bands don't need. Those posers who jump on the ballad bandwagon won't find too much about the REAL Staind to like, and I'm glad.
On the whole, it's in their top three heaviest (and imo, best) albums, replacing 'Break the Cycle' as the third.
It's not as raw, but probably just as heavy as 'Dysfunction', albeit being more melodic at the same time. Not as heavy or raw as 'Tormented', but it is the first set of Staind heavy songs since 'Tormented' to have guitar solos on them. 'Dysfunction' was heavy, but the songs were great Nu metal / post grunge songs and there was an intentional shift to write songs with less tormented aggression (pun intended). The same can be said for 'Break the Cycle'.
On the new album however, like a few tracks off of 'Tormented', the songs are heavy and Mike shreds which to my ears, makes it sound a little more brutal.
This is how I rate Staind albums overall:
Break the Cycle (9/10)
14 Shades of Grey (5/10)
Chapter V (7/10)
Illusion of Progress (4.5/10)
Highlights of the album for me are (all of the tracks, but more specifically) 'Eyes Wide Open', 'Failing', 'The Bottom', 'Paper Wings' & 'Something to Remind You' (now my second favourite Staind ballad to 'Excess Baggage' as they're two Staind ballads that are more about emotion than being poppy and commercial like 'It's Been Awhile' etc (which I still like, but find it overplayed). Pretend 'fans' won't appreciate these collection of songs as much (Yay!)
So, job well done! Now I just hope Staind give us some 1996 Staind songs live again, and continue in this vein of music writing for their next album.