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Three Days Grace – “Life Starts Now” (2009) April 28, 2010

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2009, Three Days Grace, Uncategorized.
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Written by Andrew Hart

A staple of rock radio since 2003 thanks to hits like “Just Like You,” and “Riot,” Three Days Grace are hardly a bunch of obscure nobodies.  The band has developed a reputation for aggressive and angry music, fueled on the power of anthems that fight against the antagonists of the world.  Now, while many bands would take the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, Three Days Grace seems to demand differently of themselves, and while they may have achieved fame by being angry and hateful, their third album seems like a fresh start for the band.  I guess it’s only fitting that the title of that album be Life Starts Now.

Unlike their past two albums, Life Starts Now showcases a reinvigorated, and dare I say happy version of the band.  The opening track “Bitter Taste” is not only a biting attention-grabber, but also one that serves as the perfect bridge between this album and 2006’s One-X.  The song revolves around the line “So long, I have erased you,” and as intense as it sounds, it’s really just a song about moving on and being damn happy about it.  It’s a pretty killer song too, with some impressive drumwork leading out of the chorus, and some passionate vocals from frontman Adam Gontier.

The theme of moving on from a bitter past is evident throughout Life Starts Now, perhaps most prevalently in show-stealing ballad “Last To Know.”  Primarily piano-driven, the emotional track begins by delving into a failed relationship, but turns the theme on a dime mid-song by screaming about the future failures of a new one.  It’s angry, but also optimistic, at least for fans of a pulse-pounding hard rock band.  It’s a revenge song at it’s best, and Gontier displays some impressive falsetto vocals for the first time in the band’s career.  By the end of the song you’ll have shivers running up and down your back as it hits impressive notes, especially in an impressive climax.

A lot of tracks on Life Starts Now aren’t as immediately accessible as much of Three Days Grace’s past catalog.  Only leadoff single “Break” and “Riot”-inspired “The Good Life” are ear-grabbing immediately, but this album rewards repeated listens with surprising depth.  Deep cuts like “No More” and “Someone Who Cares” are some of the best tracks in the band’s catalog.  Still, it wouldn’t be a Three Days Grace record without a few mediocre rock tracks.  This time that gap is filled by “Bully,” a song that just feels like it’s trying too hard, and “Goin’ Down,” both late- record tracks.  It’s totally made up for though by the end, as “Life Starts Now” is easily the best closing track in the band’s discography, and a fantastic, uplifting way to end a surprisingly optimistic record.

Life Starts Now isn’t a modern rock classic, nor is it even a brilliant album, but what it is a great step in the right direction for a band who’s schtick was already feeling old two albums in.  Life Starts Now is refreshing, rewarding, and a revelation for the career of a band who takes way too long to put out new albums.  With winning tracks like “Last To Know,” and “Bitter Taste,” it’s easy to forgive the faults of the record and just look at a greatly accessible modern rock album.  While not fantastic now, Life Starts Now may eventually be seen as a turning point for Three Days Grace, and for that it should be a respected, and constantly played record.

8 out of 10 – Download “Bitter Taste”

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