Released: Sep 13, 2011
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Atlantic, Roadrunner
Number Of Tracks: 10
Staind returns to its hard rock roots on the new release, but that doesnt mean Aaron Lewis has eliminated his sensitive side.
UG Team, on september 09, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: For many a Staind fan, a good chunk of the Springfield, Massachusetts, band's latest self-titled release is slightly old news. Songs like Not Again and Eyes Wide Open have been making the airplay rounds for several months now, but it's never a terrible thing to create an early buzz. What you might have noticed upon hearing any of Staind's seventh studio album is that it's a fairly big leap away from the many acoustic and/or mellow vibe that has fueled quite a few of their hit songs. That's not to say the album is devoid of mellower offerings, but the aggressive side of frontman Aaron Lewis is displayed prominently this time around.
The record kicks off with Eyes Wide Open, which has easily the most intense, spastic vocals of the 10 tracks. Given Lewis' proclivity to do acoustic tours and the like, you do sometimes forget that he has the ability to deliver some in-your-face vocals and that he does in Eyes Wide Open. While his phrasing goes every which way, at the most aggressive they broach Slipknot territory. No less intense is the track Wannabe, which combines a laid-back, cocky rap (with Snoop Dogg making a guest appearance) with an all-out yelling session. That particular song oozes machismo and a general f**k you attitude.
At the other end of the spectrum is Falling, which in the beginning moments almost seems like a nod to Alice In Chains in terms of the harmonies and chord progressions. That selection along with Throw It All Away and Something To Remind You are mellower, more emotional tracks that seem more in line with the Staind recordings of the past few years. Peppered throughout are plenty of chugged power chords (Paper Wings) and even some inspired intros (the mechanical yet sleek Now), but the biggest hits if we're looking at the band's history will be the songs that have the most memorable and sing-along-worthy choruses. The album never remains stagnant to be sure, and Staind fans in general should be pleased with the latest songwriting. // 7
Lyrics: The new Staind record, much like on former releases, doesn't shy away from honest, emotional topics. This is an album for someone who isn't afraid to punch a wall in one moment and cry over a lost love in the next. Wannabe thanks to its overall hip-hop vibe does tend to have a cockier approach with lyrics like, I'm selling records what is it that you do; Sitting in your mama's basement with a shiatsu; Peanut butter on your dick. That chest-pounding content is an anomaly, however, and most of the tracks lean toward reflective or passionate moments like the one in Throw It All Away (It doesn't feel like this is over; It's never felt like it's begun; Always looking over my shoulder; Waiting for the end to come). Aaron Lewis does have the ability to sell a wide variety of emotions, and that's what makes the lyrics so effective in the end. // 8
Overall Impression: For rock purists, Staind will deliver the goods this time around. Even though the band does often return to the big, straightforward chorus, the album is full of pretty angry moments and that is pretty refreshing for a band that has so often delved into its sensitive side. The self-titled record isn't necessarily breaking any sort of new ground (nor will it alienate any fans), but it's likeable and certainly has its inspired moments. In the end, even with all the anger injected into the record, it's hard to deny the most memorable and moving track is the stripped-down closing ballad Something To Remind You. // 8
HoverFan#1, on october 03, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Their last album to feature drummer Jon Wysocki, Staind is finally giving the old fans what they want: another heavy album with screaming! This is definitely their best album in my opinion. They went right from their worst album to their best album!
1. "Eyes Wide Open" - This is currently my favorite song. A lot of internal rhymes and a solo that sounds really hard, but is actually really easy.
2. "Not Again" - The first single off the album. The first half of the solo sounds kinda bluesy. There was actually a solo contest, won by Kevin Curry.
3. "Failing" - The verses to this one sounds really Alice In Chains-like. The chorus is simply perfect!
4. "Wannabe" - When I heard a sample of this song on YouTube, I wasn't too sure about it, because it's rap and Wikipedia said it features Snoop Dogg. The latter was disproved by the fact that no one is credited for the vocals except singer Aaron Lewis. Also because the documentary shows Aaron recording it. It was just something some idiot put up there. They had a pretty good time writing the lyrics, like "I'm selling records. What is it that you do? Sitting in your mama's basement with her shih tzu. Peanut butter on your dick, right hand going click, with your left hand giving you a rim job." I'm glad I listened to it anyway.
5. "Throw It All Away" - "It's never enough to break down inside. It's never enough to hold on to pride. It's never enough to give up your soul." Very deep.
7. "The Bottom" - I love the beginning! It's played by hitting the strings above the pickups, much like "Crawl" from "Dysfunction". It's my second favorite song. This song is featured on the "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon" soundtrack. It was the first new song I heard, when I went on YouTube and typed in "new Staind" to see if there was anything. I once told some whiner that Aaron would never scream again. I guess I was wrong!
9. "Paper Wings" - When I heard this song, for some reason I thought of Limp Bizkit, even though I don't like them, and I've only heard one song, which doesn't really sound like this. Oh well... The talk box part is pretty awesome! And so is the solo at the beginning (wait did he just steal my idea?!?!) and end.
10. "Something To Remind You" - Oh god I sure hope Staind isn't breaking up, because it sure sounds like it. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics to the songs on this album are pretty awesome! Especially the chorus of "Failing". Avenged Sevenfold's "Buried Alive" and "Fiction" are the only other songs I can think of that have parts that perfect. Once again, Aaron Lewis does a fantastic singing job! // 10
Overall Impression: I compare much of this album with "Tormented", "Dysfunction", and "Break The Cycle". I'm impressed by the entire album and the fact that Staind could make something like this again. Also that Aaron can still scream so well after ten years! I love the whole album! // 10
Battman1993, on october 19, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: To be honest, I didn't know what to think when I heard Staind was releasing a new album. I've always liked everything Staind has done, but I hadn't heard anything from them in awhile. The first whiff of Staind-related music was when I bought Town Line, the solo country EP from Staind frontman Aaron Lewis (note: go read my review of said EP if you wish). When Aaron said that his country career was where the "soft" Staind songs would go, I got excited. A few months later, I got exposed to the first single from "Staind", a little tune called "Not Again". I didn't quite shit myself while listening to Not Again, but I was certainly amazed.
Now, I have the full album, and I must say that "Staind" is firmly on my top 10 list for best albums of 2011. Like the band members told us, "Staind" is a return to their early albums where they were a "metal" band. This album gets started off right with Eyes Wide Open, a charging slammer of a song that gives us the first glimpses of Aaron's potent scream. He doesn't overdo the screaming, but it nicely punctuates parts of the songs. Now, moving on to the aforementioned "Not Again". It starts with a clean guitar part and charges foward from there. It's on my top 10 songs list for sure. Other highlights include Failing, which seems like a lost Alice In Chains tune. "Wannabe" is actually a decent song, with Aaron Lewis taking a stab at rapping (no, Snopp Dogg doesn't appear on this song like it was rumored). "The Bottom" is a very Tool-esque song. "Paper Wings" benefits from a chugging riff.
However, the highlight of Staind is the last song, "Something To Remind You". It's the only ballad on this album, and it only has Aaron singing with electric guitar. Aaron's voice is beautiful on this song. Overall, Staind is a nice return to their early days. It's heavy as hell and benefits from some nice guitar solos from Mike Mushok and slamming low-end provided by bassist Johnny April and drummer Jon Wysocki (who left midway through the recording of Staind due to issues with the band members, Aaron Lewis in particular). It's too bad that Wysocki left, because he laid down some very nice drums on this offering. // 8
Lyrics: I've already aluded above to what you can expect from Aaron Lewis this time around. He mostly sings, with screams accenting parts of songs. He does rap on "Wannabe" and it's not terrible.
Lyrically, Aaron has never been a political theorist or a fairy-tale writer. His lyrics are about what he goes through in his life. He can certainly write a good hook. On this album, Aaron said most of his lyrics were inspired by the tension in the band during the recording. I won't elaborate on them, you can interpret them yourself. // 8
Overall Impression: Staind's seventh self-titled album is like a re-birth for them. It harkens back to the metal sound found on their first two albums "Tormented" and "Dysfunction". Aaron is screaming on some songs while his bandmates bash metal bangers all around him. It's one of the best albums of this year and is not a waste of precious cash. // 8