Sound — 8
This was the second album I'd ever owned in my human life, and I don't think I'd be the person I am today if I hadn't received this CD. The debut album of Canadian alt. rock group Our Lady Peace presents a unique take on the grunge rock feel that was already blossoming at it's release in 1994. The album is characterized by the sometimes nasal, always fitting falsettos of frontman Raine Maida and very colourfully shaped guitar structures provided by the founding member, Mike Turner. The bass and drums also form memorable musical canvases and foundations, as in the intro to Naveed, the titular track. The songs themselves vary in terms of quality and staying power, but there is not a single element throughout that feels out of place or poorly done. I do however feel that many of the over-layed guitar tracks are mixed too low; there are just so many gems buried under an otherwise well produced and written album, such as the harmonic chirps buried within Supersatelite. The timbre and use of dynamics throughout the album are very well thought out and delivered; the entire song "Hope" is a masterpiece due to it's diversity of tone, dynamic, and the overall feeling.
Lyrics — 7
The singing is definitely the most remarkable aspect of this album (which serves to overshadow and in many ways bury the equally impressive instrumental work); Raine Maida delivers a unique blend of falsetto with an angst-laden, nervous energy. Some of the best moments in the album are delivered by his wail. The lyrics on the other hand are hit-and-miss; they deal with a range of topics, touching on politics, jealousy of love, and social commentary, but often fail to make their case poignantly. It doesn't exactly lessen the quality of the music, but it prevents many of the songs from being exceptional instead of just great.
Overall Impression — 8
This album is not without fault; of the eleven tracks on the album, there are maybe four or five that have any real lasting qualities. The problem is not with quality but with diversity. Many of the songs seem to project the same vibe and feeling. Julia, Dirty Walls, and Neon Crossing in particular feel lackluster, however there are moments in each of those songs that make them worth their keep. For a debut album, there is an awful lot of talent going on. The musicians clearly have a grasp of the sound they want to create, and they do it with finesse and zeal. It is the perfect prelude to their sophomore album "Clumsy" and has a very significant place in my music collection.