Published on August 12th, 2008 | by greg5
Staind: The Illusion of Progress – Review
Sometimes reviews write themselves; in this case the album title of the new Staind album says it all. You would think that a band that has been around for about 13 years would want to change things up a little on a new release. Staind does not want to rock the boat by trying anything too risky. They continue to mine the field of mid to late 90′s rock with a grungy sound that has not been updated since.
This album sounds very slick and polished. You can almost hear the sheen on it as all imperfections have been deleted in the recording studio. This album might fare well with those nostalgic for the grunge era and classic rock stations, but I’m beginning to think some people are going to want a change.
Singer Aaron Lewis goes through his usual gamut of emotions on this album. The album begins with a heavy bluster of generic heavy metal before treading into the familiar sounding loud/soft ballads that Staind is known for. In the song, “The Corner,” a piano creeps into the surroundings and is very reminiscent of Coldplay, while one song brings a Pink Floydish gospel choir into the proceedings. On the schmaltzy “Tangled Up In You,” Staind reference Bob Dylan while aping U2′s “40.” At times this album can get poppy, but even then the lyrics focus on misery and longing.
The album isn’t offensively bad; it’s just not that good. The lack of variety in songwriting and sound gets old quickly. Most songs are as indistinguishable as the next, which surely shows no progress made. Maybe the illusion is still there.