Release Date: August 19, 2008
Reviewed by Evelyn Miska

It isn’t easy to believe that a band as mediocre as Staind can be releasing their sixth studio album. However, this is indeed a reality and the radio waves will, no doubt, be filled with the pseudo-grunge-rock of this band from Springfield, Massachusetts. While Staind may not be on the cutting edge of musical innovation, there still is a bit of a guilty pleasure quality to some of their songs. While most people probably won’t go around proclaiming their love for the band (and those that do are probably the same people that say Nickelback is their favorite band of all), the occasional catchiness of some of their latest tracks just may manage to worm into the hearts of some music fans, but this album will not be breaking any new ground.

“This Is It” is the type of standard song most people will expect on a Staind album. Lead singer Aaron Lewis’ vocals are just the same as on most of the band’s songs, slightly gritty, dripping with emotion and just a little too tormented to be taken completely seriously. Similarly, “The Way I Am” is a slightly sentimental but unapologetic song in which Lewis cites his faults such as “I’m not at just paying attention, not very good at remembering things…” and then essentially pleads to leave him alone because that’s “the way I am.” Maybe it isn’t the most earth-shattering message, but it’s hard to deny that Staind has a knack for writing catchy choruses, and this song is no exception.

“Believe” is the first single off The Illusion of Progress and it is a little tough to see why this was picked over other songs since it follows the same format and style as almost all Staind songs. In fact, almost all the songs on the album follow the same format and style and one wonders if the album’s title is an indication of the band’s philosophy of musical growth. There is nothing new about the songs on The Illusion of Progress and Staind seems perfectly happy to keep making the same songs repeatedly. If you already own a Staind album, there might not be much need to pick this one up as well, since listeners have really already heard all the songs already.

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