Sound — 8
Our Lady Peace blazed their trail out of their native Canada and onto American radio airwaves in 1997 with the title track Clumsy and 4 AM. The songs are alt-rock staples and while Burn Burn doesn't teem with super obvious singles, it's an earnest exercise in catchy, inoffensive and relatable rock n roll that will still tickle the fancy of those who were ardent fans of the band during its heyday. The alt rock genre has been overtaken by emo, so much so that bands like OLP have been adrift without a genre or radio format to cling to anymore! Dreamland, the album's second song, is the closest thing that could lead the band to the restoration of former, prior glory. It's a ballad with positive lyrics that never drifts into maudlin or melancholic territory. It could serve as a prom song, with its sincere, genuine tone. You can picture the kids singing along to it! All You Did Was Save My Life opens the album and it certainly rocks, as does Monkey Brains, with its thudding bass line. Never Get Over You is another slow-tempo song that will attract a strong female demographic. Escape Artist and Refuge are pair of back-to-back ballads with quirky riffs and layered sounds, and it's apparent that Our Lady Peace weave in and out moods and tempos throughout the course of Burn Burn yet the bipolarity doesn't sink the record. It's actually a boost and the juxtaposition of those two head-down tunes next to a chunky, heavier song like The Right Stuff that proves how nice guy Our Lady Peace can be. Thankfully, OLP never go too vanilla or dole out bland songs. Our Lady Peace manage to not be middle of the road, which is hard to do in this confounding genre of music!
Lyrics — 8
Raine Maida's voice is quite pretty and comforting without being wimpy or emo. He isn't soaring, but his pitch is a bit higher than your average rock vocalist and his semi-tinny timber is what makes his band stand out from the pack. He's a rock dude with a propensity for flipping his cards up on the table, right in the middle of a bluff. He is a decent-to-above-average lyricist and his tone, coupled with the not-too-heavy and not-too-hard vibe of the music is what makes Our Lady Peace a band that young ladies and those in their mid-to-late-30s gravitate towards, which will be attributed to Maida's sensitive guy syndrome.
Overall Impression — 7
The alt-rock formula has served Our Lady Peace well and they don't tinker much with it and that's the smartest decision they could have made. While the landscape (and the radio format and genre) that the band found fame within has changed drastically to the point that trying to define alternative is nearly impossible, Burn Burn effectively transports the listener to a decade prior. It's nostalgic, even though the songs are new, and there really is nothing wrong with that. Our Lady Peace continue to exist outside of that time and space and continue with their career, making viable music that will still find its audience, even if not on the same large scale.