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Our Lady Peace – “Burn Burn” (2009) July 21, 2009

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2009, Our Lady Peace.
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Written by Andrew Hart

It’s been a long time since the latest effort from Canadian four-piece Our Lady Peace.  Way back in 2005, Our Lady Peace continued their endeavor to add as much variety to their career as possible with the mellowed-out Healthy In Paranoid Times, adding to a collection that has seen everything from grunge influence to falsetto-laced concept albums.  In the time since 2005, the band has postponed their seventh studio album with two greatest hits collection and a solo album from lead singer Raine Maida, but at last the time has come for some new music from the band in the form of a disc called Burn Burn. At a mere 10 tracks, Burn Burn has a lot to live up to in a short amount of time, but per usual, Our Lady Peace does not disappoint.

Lead single and kickoff track “All You Did Was Save My Life” is easily the most accessible and radio-ready of any track on the CD.  Uptempo and unrelenting, it’s one of the most rocking tracks Our Lady Peace has written in recent memory, and while certainly not as catchy as most stuff one would hear on the radio, it’s got all the makings of a song to be lodged in your mind for days.  The rest of the disc is quick to depart from this theme, and quickly create a new one, revisiting the old days.  While “All You Did Was Save My Life” is certainly a throwback to the hard-rocking days of early Our Lady Peace, the next track “Dreamland” is quick to invoke the name of the more recent, toned-down incarnation of the band.  Much of the CD is focused on sounding more streamlined and it succeeds with this with tracks such as the two aforementioned as well as “Never Get Over You” and “White Flags.”

It’s certainly not the last of the Our Lady Peace throwbacks though.  “Monkey Brains” is about as vintage as you’ll ever hear from this band, a song with a quirky sound and strange lyrical content that sounds like it would have fit happily in with the sounds of the band’s earlier work Happiness…. The tempo shift in mid-track even pulls directly from the influence of that album’s “Stealing Babies.”  Those who miss the days when Raine pulled out that signature falsetto will get a small bit of fanservice as well, as he shows it off briefly, for the first time in nine years, on the album’s closer “Paper Moon.”  Most of the album dwells on sounding like the more mainstream works of Our Lady Peace, but each track seems reminiscent of various parts of the band’s career, making this disc an excellent retrospect for fans.

Taking a moment to assess the band, they all seem as in sync as they’ve ever been.  Maida as always turns in a great vocal performance, singing all over the board with various tempos and tones and even ringing out that falsetto briefly.  The music is so well written however, that all the other members of the band have moments to shine despite the overall mellow atmosphere of the disc.  Guitarist Steve Mazur gets to turn in some memorable riffs on tracks like “Escape Artist” and drummer Jeremy Taggart continues to impress with his sheer talent behind a kit.  A great technical drummer, Taggart impresses not with speed, but with variety throughout all of Burn Burn. Our Lady Peace has for years been a fantastic all-around band and this album certainly continues that trend.

At a mere ten tracks, and run time of just over thirty-eight minutes, the biggest fault of Burn Burn’s may be it’s short stay.  And, while still interesting and a great retrospective, the album does not feature the kind of creativity of past Our Lady Peace efforts.  The same band that once wrote an entire concept album based on robots and machines is now writing straightforward ballads like “Never Get Over You.”  While of course, this change has been happening for a few years now, it’s still a disappointment.  Many of the songs retain some of that creativiy however, and Maida is still a fantastic songwriter when he can play off these cliches well.  There’s plenty of that genius songwriting of old too, with lines like “This whole world has gone crazy, God’s got a little lazy,” from “White Flags.”  All things said, Burn Burn is another fantastic showing from Our Lady Peace, and one which will be even more rewarding for longtime fans of the band.  For old fans and new however, this album will serve as a great disc sure to please plenty of alternative rock fans.

9 out of 10 – Download “Escape Artist”

Our Lady Peace is | Raine Maida – Lead Vocals | Steve Mazur – Guitar, Backing Vocals | Duncan Coutts – Bass, Backing Vocals | Jeremy Taggart – Drums

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Comments»

1. K-God - July 21, 2009

Woah! An Our Lady Peace review? No way!
Sounds good.
And, you know, good review. Of course.


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