Sound — 10
Rarely has there ever been as cohesive and slick a debut album as 'Naveed' by Our Lady Peace. That is to say that Our Lady Peace, while caught in an era of post-grunge, comes off as extremely polished and heavy. From the unnerving opening riff of 'The Birdman' to the stormy crunch of 'Neon Crossing' Our Lady Peace rarely lets up. The highlights musically are Mike Turner's guitar playing, which is very complex, and a treat to listen to even if it remains drowned out for the sake of heaviness. Complementing Turner is young Jeremy Taggart on drums, who displays astounding aptitude on tracks like 'Denied' and 'Julia'. Taggart was still a teenager during Naveed's recording, and his skill at such a young age truly foreshadows future recognition.
Lyrics — 8
It has often been said that Raine Maida's lyrics are bizarre, and I say this with all honesty - they are. Full of twisting metaphors, strange images, figures and landscapes on such eastern-inspired tracks as 'Naveed', 'Starseed' and 'Under Zenith'. His lyrics are extremely difficult to make sense of, "Don't you worry and don't be afraid does it send you to the world appealing where there is spoken word that I can't take" An excerpt of Neon Crossing demonstrates what is commonality in Maida's lyrical palette. Regardless, they do evoke thought; perhaps that is what Raine Maida wanted? Maida's singing is what Our Lady Peace is most often associated with, up until Gravity he was unique in his ability to sing extremely high and varied falsetto, most notably on Clumsy. Here we are given a taste, his vocals are powerful here, ranging from dementedly furious to mournful and then taking a right turn into colossal roars that pull you in, hook line and sinker. Of all his album singing, I believe Naveed, surprisingly, is the best. His voice from Clumsy up to Spiritual Machines got increasingly pitched, and while it was manageable, I can't say that I would listen to Clumsy more than once in a sitting; and his new, deeper singing style feels bland and commercial, almost forced, and truly it is a pain to hear him struggle to reach notes he once easily could on Naveed.
Overall Impression — 10
My favorite Our Lady Peace album. Though lyrically it can get a bit outlandish, 'Naveed' remains one of my favorite CDs of all time, as Maida's vocals and the amazing musical abilities of his band-mates tie together extremely well, the end result being a hard-hitting masterpiece of post-grunge rock. Check out 'The Birdman', 'Starseed', 'Naveed', 'Denied', 'Julia', 'Under Zenith and 'Neon Crossing'.