Sound — 8
Their first album being a major hit in Canada, Our Lady Peace followed up with Clumsy. The production values are changed significantly here, with Guitars, Drums and Bass being toned down sonically and allowed Raine Maida to dominate the sound-scale with his nasally, neo-prophetic, angst-ridden yelps. However all is not lost, as Jeremy Taggart again demonstrates his talent, practically destroying every song with ease, it almost seems at times as if the man is improvising behind it all, he's that good. Mike Turner, an underrated guitarist in his own right, utilizes complex chords and subtle shifts to keep the music interesting. New bassist Duncan Coutts throws down consistently solid, if unremarkable rhythms, most notably on 'Automatic Flowers'. Some songs seem a little un-refined, however. Tracks like 'Shaking' and 'The Story of 100 Aisles' are solid, but 'Shaking' lacks good musical direction and feels bland, while '100 Aisles' could easily have been great with it's wacky lyrics, but ends up as a screeching rocker that doesn't really go anywhere.
Lyrics — 8
Raine Maida shows that his strange, incomprehensible lyrics are a thing of the past - and he abandons them in favor of lyrics so bizarre it's hard to even discern what whole songs mean. Apparently he takes his inspiration from beat-poets, which would explain his lyrical deviations, but it's hard to ignore out-of-this-world song titles like 'The Story of 100 Aisles' and 'Big Dumb Rocket'. Just wait until you actually listen to the song themselves, "Hey what do you see its not me not me why won't you share it's not fair there's a bicycle show where the bicycle's float" And excerpt of 'Let You Down'. Accompanying his odd songs are his trademark high-pitched vocals, which drone on and on, yet, despite their screeching quality, you find yourself wanting more. Raine Maida takes each song and goes over it completely, his voice infecting each every second, but it doesn't really get old. To his credit he does relent on certain tracks, '4 AM' and 'Clumsy' notably, displaying that he is actually a talented singer.
Overall Impression — 9
Fairly solid CD - a little sickly compared to Naveed, which was hard as a rock for all it's 11 tracks. Raine Maida displays incredibly emotional singing here, as does Mike Turner, culminating on the horrifying surreal closer 'Car Crash' which Maida howls agonizingly against the wailing lament of Turner's lonely guitar. Clumsy is a good CD, not great, and most of the tracks are quite catchy, 'Superman's 'Dead', 'Automatic Flowers', '4 AM', 'Clumsy' and the less-catchy but extremely atmospheric 'Car Crash' are all highly recommended.