Staind review by Staind

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  • Released: Sep 13, 2011
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.7 (48 votes)
Staind: Staind
1

Sound — 7
For many a Staind fan, a good chunk of the Springfield, Massachusetts, band's latest self-titled release is slightly old news. Songs like Not Again and Eyes Wide Open have been making the airplay rounds for several months now, but it's never a terrible thing to create an early buzz. What you might have noticed upon hearing any of Staind's seventh studio album is that it's a fairly big leap away from the many acoustic and/or mellow vibe that has fueled quite a few of their hit songs. That's not to say the album is devoid of mellower offerings, but the aggressive side of frontman Aaron Lewis is displayed prominently this time around. The record kicks off with Eyes Wide Open, which has easily the most intense, spastic vocals of the 10 tracks. Given Lewis' proclivity to do acoustic tours and the like, you do sometimes forget that he has the ability to deliver some in-your-face vocals and that he does in Eyes Wide Open. While his phrasing goes every which way, at the most aggressive they broach Slipknot territory. No less intense is the track Wannabe, which combines a laid-back, cocky rap (with Snoop Dogg making a guest appearance) with an all-out yelling session. That particular song oozes machismo and a general f**k you attitude. At the other end of the spectrum is Falling, which in the beginning moments almost seems like a nod to Alice In Chains in terms of the harmonies and chord progressions. That selection along with Throw It All Away and Something To Remind You are mellower, more emotional tracks that seem more in line with the Staind recordings of the past few years. Peppered throughout are plenty of chugged power chords (Paper Wings) and even some inspired intros (the mechanical yet sleek Now), but the biggest hits if we're looking at the band's history will be the songs that have the most memorable and sing-along-worthy choruses. The album never remains stagnant to be sure, and Staind fans in general should be pleased with the latest songwriting.

Lyrics — 8
The new Staind record, much like on former releases, doesn't shy away from honest, emotional topics. This is an album for someone who isn't afraid to punch a wall in one moment and cry over a lost love in the next. Wannabe thanks to its overall hip-hop vibe does tend to have a cockier approach with lyrics like, I'm selling records what is it that you do; Sitting in your mama's basement with a shiatsu; Peanut butter on your dick. That chest-pounding content is an anomaly, however, and most of the tracks lean toward reflective or passionate moments like the one in Throw It All Away (It doesn't feel like this is over; It's never felt like it's begun; Always looking over my shoulder; Waiting for the end to come). Aaron Lewis does have the ability to sell a wide variety of emotions, and that's what makes the lyrics so effective in the end.

Overall Impression — 8
For rock purists, Staind will deliver the goods this time around. Even though the band does often return to the big, straightforward chorus, the album is full of pretty angry moments and that is pretty refreshing for a band that has so often delved into its sensitive side. The self-titled record isn't necessarily breaking any sort of new ground (nor will it alienate any fans), but it's likeable and certainly has its inspired moments. In the end, even with all the anger injected into the record, it's hard to deny the most memorable and moving track is the stripped-down closing ballad Something To Remind You.

42 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Breakingpoint56
    So many snobs on this website in terms of music. This is a great follow-up to the past 2 outings, especially the illusion of progress. @Ibeanez, I see nothing but negativity from your posts the majority of the time. If you opened your mind up more to music and less to cynical snobby outlooks, you might enjoy more music. Aaron writes good country, and Wannabe is an excellent rap rock offering in the vein of Limp Bizkit and HED PE.
    Lost Dog
    Ibeanez wrote: Breakingpoint56 wrote: So many snobs on this website in terms of music. This is a great follow-up to the past 2 outings, especially the illusion of progress. @Ibeanez, I see nothing but negativity from your posts the majority of the time. If you opened your mind up more to music and less to cynical snobby outlooks, you might enjoy more music. Aaron writes good country, and Wannabe is an excellent rap rock offering in the vein of Limp Bizkit and HED PE. I'm glad you see negativity in my posts about crap music. If liking good music makes me a snob, then I'm glad to be one. None of your business really. Apparently you think being open to music also means you have to listen to crap as well. "Excellent rap rock" and "Limp Bizkit"? Sounds like your mind is closed to music. I enjoy good music of all kinds, more good music is always welcome.
    Your opinion on what is good music is just an opinion. And it looks like you don't realize that. Therefore you are a closed minded music snob.
    mysticguitar77
    LynchMobster wrote: weird they already had song called "falling" on chapter v and "not falling" on 14 shades. definately gonna check this out though
    Typo on the reviewers part. The song on this album is called "Failing" not "Falling".
    mysticguitar77
    Lost Dog wrote: Does anyone know if Mike uses his baritone guitar at all on this album?
    Yes, on most of the album definitely and it sounds like he's tuning it lower than he ever has before. The 6th string is definitely tuned Ab or lower although I haven't tried it out just yet and Staind is known to use plenty of alternate tunings. I've seen in interview where Mike said he uses over 20 different tunings which is insane.
    Lost Dog
    mysticguitar77 wrote: Lost Dog wrote: Does anyone know if Mike uses his baritone guitar at all on this album? Yes, on most of the album definitely and it sounds like he's tuning it lower than he ever has before. The 6th string is definitely tuned Ab or lower although I haven't tried it out just yet and Staind is known to use plenty of alternate tunings. I've seen in interview where Mike said he uses over 20 different tunings which is insane.
    That's pretty cool. I've always been a fan of Mike's baritone and the tone it has, and I was kind of disappointed that he didn't use it on the Illusion of progress. Glad they're bringing it back.
    kramer242
    first album of stainds ive paid attention to in years. didnt like more then a few between fourteen shades of grey and this. While nothing will ever touch tormented and dysfunction this is definitely a step in the right direction. As for people saying the sound of the album seems forced I can agree to an extent. Some of the songs seem to be a bit forced, but there is also quite a few songs that are well put together.
    bobbysteve15
    aaron lewis can play whatever the hell he wants to play. he is one of the most talented musicians/song writers of this generation. The last song on this album, "Something to Remind You," further proved that for me. I'm a huge fan of heavy music and have never cried once for any song...until now. Damn you, Aaron Lewis.
    mysticguitar77
    This album is okay, it definitely has it's moments (both good and bad), but I don't think this album is going to stick with me long. It feels like an intentionally heavy record to show up all the "fans" that said Staind "sold-out" or "have gone soft" from their previous album. To me, Staind has taken a two steps forward in a new musical direction and this album is one step back. Yeah, the signature Staind hooks are there and Mike's baritone guitars are back in full force, but it feels really flat. In their discography, I'd rank it 4th behind Break The Cycle, Chapter V, and Dysfunction and ahead of 14 Shades of Grey, The Illusion of Progress and Tormented. Mediocre album with a few bright spots. I'd give it a 6/10.
    soaum
    I think the album could have benefited from a better track order. after 'eyes wide open' the 2nd song sounds rubbish
    Lost Dog
    I love staind, and this album does not disappoint! Much better than their previous releases after break the cycle imo.
    Igamikun
    Didn't Aaron Lewis go on to do country? I swear he came through our area and played country music at the casino.
    ColdbringeR
    Igamikun wrote: Didn't Aaron Lewis go on to do country? I swear he came through our area and played country music at the casino.
    Yeah, then he realized country music sucks.
    thebigal
    I think this is a very solid album and a good return by Staind. I rate this prob 8.5/10. It's haevier, tighter album and deserves some recognition. If this is not your type of music then there is no point reviewing or rating it.
    JimBonJovi
    Breakingpoint56 wrote: So many snobs on this website in terms of music. This is a great follow-up to the past 2 outings, especially the illusion of progress. @Ibeanez, I see nothing but negativity from your posts the majority of the time. If you opened your mind up more to music and less to cynical snobby outlooks, you might enjoy more music. Aaron writes good country, and Wannabe is an excellent rap rock offering in the vein of Limp Bizkit and HED PE.
    Thank goodness for users like yourself. We need more of you!
    Miiiiks
    mysticguitar77 wrote: Ibeanez wrote: I'm glad you see negativity in my posts about crap music. If liking good music makes me a snob, then I'm glad to be one. None of your business really. Apparently you think being open to music also means you have to listen to crap as well. "Excellent rap rock" and "Limp Bizkit"? Sounds like your mind is closed to music. I enjoy good music of all kinds, more good music is always welcome. I agree to what you're saying to an extent. Being open-minded does not mean you have to like everything, that's impossible. There's not a single person on this planet that has liked every song they've ever heard. Being open-minded, in my opinion, is having the willingness to give any type of music a listen regardless of genre and whatnot. I think too many people confuse snobbery with an honest opinion. "Wannabe" is a pretty bad song and it's not because I have a close-mind and I hate rap-rock, in fact, I'm a big fan of rap-rock, but I'm not afraid to admit that I don't like a song. If anybody is close-minded here, it's the fans that blindly follow a band and just eat up anything they release and then ridicule people that say anything negative about their favorite band. "You don't like what I like??? You're a close-minded music snob!!!" Wahwahwah . Always quick to point the finger at somebody else and make somebody else look bad because they don't share the same opinion as you.
    +1 for using a guitar effect in a comment.
    I wan waffle
    I didn't really care for the song I heard from it....sounds like a band trying to sound like themselves...which never turns out good. Just my opinion though.
    LynchMobster
    weird they already had song called "falling" on chapter v and "not falling" on 14 shades. definately gonna check this out though
    Ibeanez
    Lost Dog wrote: Ibeanez wrote: Breakingpoint56 wrote: So many snobs on this website in terms of music. This is a great follow-up to the past 2 outings, especially the illusion of progress. @Ibeanez, I see nothing but negativity from your posts the majority of the time. If you opened your mind up more to music and less to cynical snobby outlooks, you might enjoy more music. Aaron writes good country, and Wannabe is an excellent rap rock offering in the vein of Limp Bizkit and HED PE. I'm glad you see negativity in my posts about crap music. If liking good music makes me a snob, then I'm glad to be one. None of your business really. Apparently you think being open to music also means you have to listen to crap as well. "Excellent rap rock" and "Limp Bizkit"? Sounds like your mind is closed to music. I enjoy good music of all kinds, more good music is always welcome. Your opinion on what is good music is just an opinion. And it looks like you don't realize that. Therefore you are a closed minded music snob.
    Are you really so ignorant about music that you think there is no objective way to separate the good from the bad? Opinion is a much smaller part of it than you think. And as I said, I take it as a compliment that you call me a snob for not dumbing myself down.
    Ibeanez
    Breakingpoint56 wrote: So many snobs on this website in terms of music. This is a great follow-up to the past 2 outings, especially the illusion of progress. @Ibeanez, I see nothing but negativity from your posts the majority of the time. If you opened your mind up more to music and less to cynical snobby outlooks, you might enjoy more music. Aaron writes good country, and Wannabe is an excellent rap rock offering in the vein of Limp Bizkit and HED PE.
    I'm glad you see negativity in my posts about crap music. If liking good music makes me a snob, then I'm glad to be one. None of your business really. Apparently you think being open to music also means you have to listen to crap as well. "Excellent rap rock" and "Limp Bizkit"? Sounds like your mind is closed to music. I enjoy good music of all kinds, more good music is always welcome.
    Ibeanez
    Im selling records what is it that you do; Sitting in your mama's basement with a shiatsu; Peanut butter on your dick.
    There is no way a person could come up with this without intimate knowledge of the subject.
    The_Boogeyman
    To DemonicTurtle66, keep in mind that Spleen isn't on this new CD, it's an older song of theirs that I think fits in with the direction they took this CD.
    tom183
    I'll buy this because I'm a big Staind fan but the fact that I've got lyrics like this to look forward to gives me some pause:
    Im selling records what is it that you do; Sitting in your mama's basement with a shiatsu; Peanut butter on your dick.
    Ibeanez
    No less intense is the track Wannabe, which combines a laid-back, cocky rap (with Snoop Dogg making a guest appearance) with an all-out yelling session.
    That's it. Screw everyone involved.
    DemonicTurtle66
    The_Boogeyman wrote: To DemonicTurtle66, keep in mind that Spleen isn't on this new CD, it's an older song of theirs that I think fits in with the direction they took this CD.
    Well if it's the direction they took with this CD then I'll pick it up. I don't mind the slower tracks (It's been a while, Zoe Jane, Outside) but I definitely like heavier stuff better. inb4 someone saying "STAIND ISNT HEAVY". I meant heavy for Staind.
    mlukeroberts222
    I can't wait for this album. Aaron has always been one of my favorite singers and lyricists and from everything I've heard and read, this album is going to be epic!
    hardrocker64
    yea, I downloaded it and its pretty solid. I will pick up a copy when it comes out next week along with the new Anthrax. Wish it was a little longer though and I already had "the Bottom" from a soundtrack.
    lefty311
    I'm excited to read this unbiased review. Good to have some honesty. But this will make me want to buy the record as soon as it comes out.
    Patrijz
    Countsluggo wrote: I was shocked by the album. This is what shouldve come after break the cycle. Its a pretty decent album.
    This... but it might just be a little bit too late for an album like this. If they released it after BtC they would have been legends. But after all these mellow effords, it's still pretty decend... If you like 'old' Staind!
    DemonicTurtle66
    I forget they were even coming out with a new album. After looking up Spleen and Not Again I decided I'm buying it.
    The_Boogeyman
    I saw them at Rock on the Range 2011, their first show for their new tour and album and they played "Not Again" as their second song. I was actually pretty excited because it seemed like they were trying to stick with the harder stuff, they started with "Spleen" and went straight into "Not Again". I was pretty excited for this CD and for good reason, I think it's great.
    Countsluggo
    I was shocked by the album. This is what shouldve come after break the cycle. Its a pretty decent album.
    Sewn Up
    I've always been a fan of Staind. Picked up the album the other day and fell in love with it. It's a nice "return to form" for them and I hope that they keep up with it.
    seven92
    very solid album. i just bought it and currently listenin to it and it kicks ass
    mysticguitar77
    Ibeanez wrote: I'm glad you see negativity in my posts about crap music. If liking good music makes me a snob, then I'm glad to be one. None of your business really. Apparently you think being open to music also means you have to listen to crap as well. "Excellent rap rock" and "Limp Bizkit"? Sounds like your mind is closed to music. I enjoy good music of all kinds, more good music is always welcome.
    I agree to what you're saying to an extent. Being open-minded does not mean you have to like everything, that's impossible. There's not a single person on this planet that has liked every song they've ever heard. Being open-minded, in my opinion, is having the willingness to give any type of music a listen regardless of genre and whatnot. I think too many people confuse snobbery with an honest opinion. "Wannabe" is a pretty bad song and it's not because I have a close-mind and I hate rap-rock, in fact, I'm a big fan of rap-rock, but I'm not afraid to admit that I don't like a song. If anybody is close-minded here, it's the fans that blindly follow a band and just eat up anything they release and then ridicule people that say anything negative about their favorite band. "You don't like what I like??? You're a close-minded music snob!!!" Wahwahwah. Always quick to point the finger at somebody else and make somebody else look bad because they don't share the same opinion as you.