The Singles: 1996-2006 review by Staind

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  • Released: Nov 14, 2006
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (70 votes)
Staind: The Singles: 1996-2006
2

Sound — 8
The year 2006 marks Staind's tenth year of major label studio releases, and the band's latest release commemorates the event. The majority of The Singles: 1996-2006 is pretty much what you'd expect if you've heard any of the band's radio hits over the years, but it also contains a few acoustical surprises tacked on to the end of it. Dedicated fans of Staind (vocalist/guitarist Aaron Lewis, guitarist Mike Mushok, bassist Johnny April, and drummer Jon Wysocki) will likely the find that there is everything you'd want to be featured on a best-of Staind album. It's Been Awhile, Outside, and Price To Play are just a few titles on the well-rounded track list. The recording of Outside was actually done on the Family Values Tour, a smart move that gives the CD a little bit of freshness when you're already familiar with the songs. The newer acoustic take is pretty dead-on the original, but it still manages to have a bare bones, raw feel that was missing from the Break The Cycle version. The band actually makes a really gutsy move on The Singles by performing 3 beloved classic tunes acoustically: Nutshell (Alice In Chains), Sober (Tool), and Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd). While some of you might cringe at the prospect of taking on songs that were pretty much done perfectly the first time around, the band deserves credit for taking a chance. The results are mixed, however. Nutshell sounds very similar to Unplugged Alice In Chains' performance, but without the haunting vocals by Layne Staley. Sober just does not compare with Tool's powerful rendition and Lewis strains to tackle Maynard James Keenan's flawless wail. While Comfortably Numb is nothing like the original, Staind does a nice job of combining both acoustic and electric elements into it. The Staind compilation is a must for the band's fanbase, but it does lack the edge that a lot of other bands have these days. The songs do tend to get a bit repetitive at times, and it may not be enough to keep everyone's interest. But there is a reason why the band continues has lasted a decade, and the latest CD is a testament to that.

Lyrics — 8
You can tell there is a lot of honest emotion in Staind's lyrics, and that is probably one of the best aspects of the band. Lewis lays his thoughts out there in the open, even when it puts him in a vulnerable spot. A good example of this honesty comes in Epiphany, where Lewis talks candidly about his emotions. He sings, I am nothing more than a little boy inside; That cries out for attention; yet I always try to hide; 'Cause I talk to you like children; Though I don't know how I feel. These are words you might hear at a therapy session, so it's to Lewis' credit that he has the courage to put it all out there. The biggest problem with the lyrics is that they repeat themselves too much at times. It's Been Awhile is the prime offender, but the monotony actually might have been a blessing for the band given that single's big success. He sings, And it's been awhile since I could hold my head up high; And it's been awhile since I first saw you; And it's been awhile since I could stand on my own two feet again. There is still an honesty there, and that makes up for the format in a big way.

Overall Impression — 8
If you're a fan of harder, more riff-oriented rock, Staind will likely leave you a bit cold. Most of the band's rock songs are more chord-driven, and there are definitely a large amount of ballads. There won't be a lot that you haven't heard on the radio for that matter. The band has covered a lot of ground over the years with its straightforward rock, and radio has eaten it up. Whether that's a good or bad thing, The Singles is thorough look at the band's work and there aren't a lot of holes in it. The addition of some rare unplugged covers gives fans all the more reason to purchase the best-of CD.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Emily...
    YAY YAY YAY!! staind is awsome, pity not many people know of them really...
    slickdoug
    I can't believe you just said Staind is a new band. How long have you had ears man come on. They've been around for like 12-13 years atleast. And there's a reason. Some people bust them for their chord-driven songs but they complete it with tight riffs and solos that bands today can't seem to get a hold of. YOu have to have all three. Peace
    StringsofBlack
    Stainds actually not that hard to play. Theyre all chord-driven like the review says. Look at any of their hits. I'm not saying theyre not a good band. Theyre good. Aaron lewis has an incredible voice. But other than that theyre ok. I like some of their hits, but thats about it. And trying to tackle Pink Floyd, Tool, and Alice in Chains? Please. Try to play songs not as well known that maybe you could improve upon. Don't tackle the titans of songs. It's gonna make you look pretty poor. So to all of you that love Staind and think theyre the greatest band....reevaluate what makes a great band. Theyre good, but lets face it theyre not that good.
    homoguitarist
    I hope some of you guys out there which are too childish and extreme to be more wise...Staind is not sucks. Those who say Staind sucks, i don't think they could produce what staind have done..If you dont like it doesn't mean it sucks for everyone else..
    guitarfreakktb
    I love Staind ... I can't wait to hear the covers.... even though it will be hard to pull off Layne's or Maynard's voices....
    kurtcobainisme
    dude no one matches up to aaron lewis' vocals. its so amazing that he can reach some really high notes with very little vocal strain.
    Guitar~Goddess
    staind rocks. you can listen to all of their albums all the way through and not be disappoited. They rock in concert, and dont show any signs on breaking up soon. I see staind being around for a long while. These guys can make some music. Rock on and heres to another 10 years
    Arsenix
    Emily... wrote: YAY YAY YAY!! staind is awsome, pity not many people know of them really...
    are you serious? Staind is a mainstream band.
    NoisyPinkBubble
    The covers only seem to be the worthwhile reason for this release. Compilations are such a money ploy.
    cannster
    I like these guys (one of the few newer bands that I like)...saw 'em live...blew me away
    Horia
    Aaron-Maiden wrote: They should have put Stainds version of 'Nothing Else Matters' on it because that was amazing, check it out. I think they done it for MTV if you're looking for it.
    Not really it's not so good and they don't sing the entire song, but yes staind songs are very very good
    Adamantium
    slayer7666 wrote: stainds suck they shouldnt have a "greatest hits" out they dont deserve it
    yea dude, you're takin it to the extreme, how old are you, 11? staind is good in my opinion, they're some of the few artists out there whose songs have meaning. however, i think some of the newer stuff sounds like they're runnin out of ideas, like if aaron doesn't wanna do the same old think vocally, which makes me feel like he's tryin to hard to change it up a bit. like that one song that goes "you always find a way to keep me right here waiting..." the verses in that song seem as if he tried real hard to put a vocal line that's more interesting then what he felt in his heart. that's my opinion though, maybe i just don't like the way he sings it. still, great band, one of the more respectable out there.
    Aaron-Maiden
    They should have put Stainds version of 'Nothing Else Matters' on it because that was amazing, check it out. I think they done it for MTV if you're looking for it.
    zzzzzzzzzzzzz
    i think staind is a pretty good band. I'm really interested to hear the covers. Aaron Lewis did a really great job with Pearl Jam's Black and i hope he did as well with these new ones.
    shredder_666
    i like staind...theyre pretty good. i like thier lyrics...they are very meaningful like jmzrecla said.
    jmzrecla
    staind melody is so great, w/ meaningful lyrics thats what makes them an great band
    AmplifySilence
    I watched these guys last night. And i didnt thlink they had a compilation like this. Now i know. I'll probably go buy it.