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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman



    Oh, those crafty Canadians. As of late, anything they send south of the borderturns into music gold. Such is the case with rockers Nickelback and Defaultas well as pop punksters Sum 41.

    However, it seems fair to assess that until very recently, most of these northernrockers have been regarded, unjustly or not, as cheap knock-offs to the richAmerican rock and roll tradition. Indeed, the recent radio successes of theseartists have helped catapult interest and attract attention to our neighborsto the north as an untapped resource for quality rock music.

    Toronto’#146;s alt/rock phenoms Our Lady Peace have been forced to deal withthis stigma since the release of their debut album in 1994. In Canada, theyare huge. In America, though, they are known less by name than by reputationof two of their biggest hits of the mid 1990s, ‘Clumsy,’ and ‘Superman’#146;sDead.’

    This time around, with their fifth studio album entitled Gravity, the bandseems to be searching for something more. Gone are the overly polished and producedartsy effects underlying each of the tracks on their past two releases, HappinessIs Not a Fish That You Can Catch and Spiritual Machines. Instead, the band seemsto be going back to the formula that very nearly made them a household name.

    They have ended their artist-producer relationship of many years with ArnoldLanni in favor of the opportunity to work with renowned Metallica producer BobRock in his Maui studio. The less-is-more, harder rocking style associated withRock seemed to be just what the band was looking for.

    ‘In the past we would play songs 900 times and just beat every singlething into the ground,’ commented drummer Jeremy Taggart. ‘We learnedthat you really lose the energy in a song if you go beyond five takes. You canhear that on this album.’

    After just ten weeks in the recording studio, the quickest ever for the band,OLP walked away with their most melodic and addictive CD to date.

    In Canada, Gravity debuted at number two. Nothing surprising there. However,the more intriguing fact is that in the U.S., the album debuted at number nine,a feat that has yet to be achieved by any of Our Lady Peace’#146;s first fouralbums.

    Such a warm, positive response seems to be completely consistent with the band’#146;saims for this album. More than anything, though, it seems they want the exposurethat they saw Nickelback receive, which inevitably translated into internationalstardom and platinum status.

    In order to accomplish this, OLP has set up more U.S. tour dates than ever,and will be traveling from city to city throughout the summer and fall to promotethe album.

    However, the biggest reason for the initial outburst of the album is the firstsingle, ‘Somewhere Out There,’ the brilliantly composed, melodic trackthat has been sitting pretty as one of the Top 10 Modern Rock Songs in Americafor the past few weeks.

    Clearly, though, Gravity has much more to offer than just one single. In fact,it is fairly difficult to predict which select few tracks will be released assingles.

    One that will definitely receive consideration is the opening track, ‘AllFor You,’ which has a sound all its own, combining high tempo drums andpungent vocals. In contrast, ‘Do You Like It,’ relies more heavilyon the fusion between the older OLP sound and a fierce guitar.

    Possibly the best song on the album, ‘Not Enough’ will garner attentionfor the sheer emotion conveyed in the Creed-like guitars in the ever-addictivehook, while the more upbeat lyrics and pop-oriented guitar in the preceedingtrack, ‘Made of Steel,’ almost cries out radio hit.

    Above all, the thing that probably makes OLP so intriguing is their consistency.Not many bands can put out one or two critically acclaimed albums in an entirecareer. However, Our Lady Peace seems to do it with each attempt. They are perennialwinners and multiple nominees at the Juno Awards, Canada’#146;s version of theGrammys and have sold albums by the millions.

    Undoubtedly, with the punch that Gravity is packing, it seems that Our LadyPeace will finally be able to jump the border. The songs are hard-rocking andfluid enough to make you bob your head, yet catchy enough to be spun on theradio. You’#146;ve heard of the British invasion, but what you don’#146;t knowis that you’#146;re in the midst of the Canadian invasion.

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