Album Reviews

Our Lady Peace – Curve

on April 09, 2012, 7:57am
Our Lady Peace Curve D-
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I want to love Curve. Our Lady Peace played a key role during this critic’s (and probably many readers’) formative years, including the time I gave my first valentine a bouquet of chocolate flowers with 90’s hit “Clumsy” soundtracking the sweaty-palmed affair. Unfortunately, some bands cannot transcend an era; Our Lady Peace retain much of their once popular sound on Curve but try to update it with studio wizardry, soaring U2 choruses, and soulless metal riffs akin to Creed. Yes, this would surely melt those chocolate flowers into a disappointing puddle.

The Canadian stalwarts keep on keeping on, much to their credit, largely sticking to the sound that gave them their time atop the alt-rock radio charts in 1997. Most notably, lead vocalist Raine Maida’s prowess remains intact, sounding like Robert Plant after smoking a carton of Lucky Strikes and several Quaaludes.

Curve, the band’s eighth studio album, kicks off with a Jimi Hendrix national anthem-like riff, followed by a rollicking drumbeat. The classic rock momentum promptly halts as Our Lady Peace lead into the frantic, bass-driven “Fire in the Henhouse”. The track and Maida’s vocals channel Hail to the Thief-era Radiohead (see also: “Window Seat”) to mediocre effect. There isn’t anything embarrassing on Curve, yet Our Lady Peace find themselves constantly swimming in someone else’s pool. Even at their best, “Clumsy” was just Oasis’s “Wonderwall” with a harder rock edge. On Curve, their influences seem ancient.

The lone highlight, the handclap-driven “As Fast as You Can”, shows the band harnessing their power pop prowess, with Maida hitting a Bono scream on the chorus. It’s unoriginal, sure, but it represents the best that that the current Our Lady Peace have to offer.

Curve finds the band rehashing other artists’ creative moments in the sun but never making anything their own. Our Lady Peace may have the best intentions, but good intentions alone do not an album make.

Essential Tracks: “As Fast as You Can”

4 comments

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Stanamana
September 4, 2012 at 10:48 pm

I so totally disagree with your review. Curve may just be the album that has brought this band back on track and to this point may actually be my 2012 album of the year. It is a pleasing listen from open to close, and has a lot of high points. To the credit of this band, they have yet to put out the same album twice, and have defied convention with every recorded release. I saw the tour in support of this album, and I HAVE to say that the songs on Curve transcend into the live environment with relative ease. This is not a band on the decline, rather a band that is still in a comfortable stride making fantastic music.

beckerist1
September 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Exactly. It’s their live shows that are the money makers. The album was still terrific though

guest
April 10, 2012 at 12:55 am

fail.

SwedeLundin77
April 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm

This reviewer is an idiot…  The album is refreshing and new.  Every artist sounds like another artist, that’s just common knowledge, yet you use it as a shield to hide behind while you blast a solid band’s music.

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