A Decade review by Our Lady Peace

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  • Released: Nov 28, 2006
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (17 votes)
Our Lady Peace: A Decade
2

Sound — 9
One of Canada's most popular homegrown bands should be pretty satisfied when looking back at the last 10 years. According to the Sony label, Our Lady Peace has had more #1 rock singles than any other Canadian rock band, and that rich history is now available in a collection called A Decade. With 16 past hits and 2 new songs on the CD, A Decade gives is probably best suited for newer fans who have yet to hear the full spectrum of work OLP has recorded since it's mid-'90s album debut. If you had forgotten about OLP (vocalist Raine Maida, drummer Jeremy Taggart, bassist Duncan Coutts, and guitarist Steve Mazur) over the years, it's most likely because the band has had a bit less attention paid to its past few albums. It's not until you listen to A Decade that you get a much better appreciation for the quality work the band has released since the release of its debut record Naveed. The most well-known OLP singles are all present on the new record, with songs like Clumsy, Superman's Dead, and Somewhere Out There probably being the most familiar of the bunch. While not every song has a chorus as infectiously catchy as why-ee, -y-ee-y-ee is Superman dead, you're still bound to find a large number of appealing songs among the 18 tracks. The songs from the albums Spiritual Machines and Healthy In Paranoid Times represent a period in the band's career when the record sales were a bit lackluster. When listening to tracks like In Repair and Angels/Losing/Sleep, it's actually a bit surprising to find out these were the singles off the album with disappointing sales. They have hooks in the choruses that are immediately memorable, particularly when Maida uses his trademark falsetto. The 2 new tracks Kiss On The Mouth and Better Than Here could signal a comeback for the band in terms of record sales/popularity. Kiss On The Mouth is actually one of the best songs on the CD. It begins with a subtle guitar riff that has a beautiful sustain at the end. When you get to the chorus, the song just breaks out into high-energy, rapid-fire vocals that mark the highlight of the song. Better Than Here is a bit more restrained, but Maida's vocals are once again a high point in the song.

Lyrics — 9
The subjects covered in OLP's lyrics are widespread, and that becomes very clear when you listen to A Decade. The band has delved into everything from concept albums to straightforward rock releases, so there's a little something for everyone. One of the most moving tracks on the compilation is Thief, which is apparently about a young girl that the band met who was dying of cancer. Maida sings, Someone help us understand who ordered; This disgusting arrangement with time and the end; I don't want to hear who walked on water; Because the hallways are empty and the clock ticks. You can definitely hear the anger and frustration behind the vocals, and it's clear that Maida is writing from the heart. In Repair involves a relationship that is apparently in need of some emotional fixing. In the midst of lines you might expect in a relationship song, the band throws in some unusual imagery. Maida sings, Take this time to figure it out; Know the wire, the fuse, the things that you doubt; The wheels, the air, the metal, the mouth. When you take the excerpt and put it next to the chorus that states, Like a machine they'll fix you from the start, the song does form an intriguing metaphor.

Overall Impression — 9
There are a few years where I admittedly lost track of Our Lady Peace, so A Decade has been a great way to get reacquainted with the band. While OLP's most dedicated fans will probably already have most of the songs in their CD library, the 2 new songs are worth a listen if they want to splurge on A Decade. While the band does not stray too far out of the traditional rock genre, they do have a lot of memorable songs thanks to the dynamic vocals of Maida and (somewhat) new guitarist Mazur. The band did have a stint where they were focusing on a more concept-driven sound, but it does sound like the band is successfully returning to it's rock roots.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    nzhead
    I like all of OLP's work. IMO a very underrated band, and often considered the most serious band in the world, at least lyrically. I really liked Spiritual Machines and Happiness... which were the conceptish albums and would be interested to here the new tracks.
    Yertle
    I don't like thier new stuff much - Mike Turner made everything before gravity brilliant, but after switching sounds and guitarists, they left me behind. Naveed is still one of the best 90's albums ever.
    evening_crow
    Definetly my favorite Canadian band lol! But really, I love these guys....the vocals, guitar, drums (and yes, bass too). Not sure about the track listing, but I'm predicting it's quite similar to their live album (which is awesome). Does anybody know what cd the song "Whatever" is from? I've only heard it in their live album and in some wwf cd since it's a theme song for some wrestler.
    some_rock_fan
    Agreed. I liked Mike Turner a lot better, and i Liked Raine Maida's old singing style better.
    suthy16
    Definitely a solid Canadian band. They're EXTREMELY underrated. evening_crow, "Whatever" was never released on an OLP album but a studio version was released on a WWE compilation album entitled "Forceable Entry" in 2002.
    BrotherDown
    mike turner definately had some wicked solos in one man army and Is any body home...amazing....its true the singles from spirtual machines are prbably my favorites but the cd didnt do to good...i praise the ground they walk on
    metal@hart11
    they were great in the 90's. mike turner was amazing because all of his solos and style were a lot different than any others. he was all about the feedback and crazy noises which made them unique. it also seems like raine used to have a little more enthusiasm back then, and nowadays his singing is a little dry. the worst thing to ever happen to OLP was mike turner leaving the band, but their still givin er i suppose. naveed and clumsy are their best records hands down. gravity wasnt too bad but it was the only cd with the new guitarist worthy of noting. somewhere out there is overrated. mike should release new material or find a new band
    Brandon860
    Excellent live, seen them 3 times now, they're pretty huge here in northern ONT. I think it should have been a double disc with Automatic Flowers, Are You Sad, Not Enough, Julia, All For You, Whatever, Right Behind You, A Story About A girl and some live stuff thrown in on it to take up space lol.
    deportivo
    i love a few of their songs..but i can't listen to the guy's voice for too long...gets me sick. why, i dunno.
    echo_4190
    My FAVORITE BAND, and can I just clarify, for those of you who think the original sound left with mike turner, I beg to differ, I think it left with Arnold Lanni, their first producer. Bob Rock mainstream-ized their music. Listen to them live, Mazur has had a great contribution to the bands work as well, and although gravity specifically, was WAY overproduced, you can still find the emotion behind it somewhere. This is evident when you listen to the band live. And for anyone who thinks steve mazur isnt a very good guitarist, BUY THE DVD, he has a solo in "The Birdman" that is mindblowing. Metalhart, you're right, mike was more into the off notes, but again, get the dvd, watch steves face when he pulls a note to all hell and it sounds so wrong, he loves it. The passion is still there, its just hiding behind bob rock, watch them live, they still feel it, especially the live version of Not Enough. They really have a great collection of work, and all of it is well written, though some of it is poorly displayed, and produced.
    TheBirdman
    Yeah, you can't blame OLP going mainstream with garvity on Steve Mazur. I remember hearing somewhere the Bob rock told Raine to simplify his lyrics so it would appeal to a larger audience.
    TheBirdman
    Also, Healthy in Paranoid times WASN'T a mainstream album. It was definatly a big improvement over Gravity. And thier new track Kiss on the mouth definatly fit in with some of thier older stuff.