Release Date: July 21, 2009
Reviewed by Evelyn Miska
Our Lady Peace has been around since the early 1990s and made a bit of a splash with their debut album Naveed which was then followed by Clumsy and Happiness Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch. It seemed as if Our Lady Peace had found a niche and was having success writing vaguely angst-ridden, passionate moderate rock. However, it didn’t take long for the rise of Britney Spears and boy bands to take over and although OLP was still making music, they basically fell off the radar. Although the public’s interest was shifting, the band has remained together despite changes in the music industry and are preparing to release their seventh studio album, Burn Burn, on July 21.
While the band claims that the album is a shift back to the rock-oriented sound that made them famous in the first place, that isn’t entirely the case. While there are some tracks on the album that still verge in that direction, there are also a number of much more sentimental tracks that just don’t have the same wit or bite that early Our Lady Peace songs had. The first single from the album “All You Did Was Save My Life” is already an alternative radio hit and will, no doubt, be over-played and become stale rather quickly. Although it is clearly more pop-infused than the band’s earlier hits, the track has an undoubtable catchiness and for many people may become a bit of a guilty pleasure.
“Dreamland” has a similar approach, strong elements of pop and a definite filing down of the edge that Our Lady Peace once had. It isn’t a bad track, but those who were fans of the band in the 1990s will likely be disappointed. “Monkey Brains” fares better than many of the other songs, mostly because listeners will still find some of the aspects of older OLP songs and the track doesn’t feel quite as over-produced as others. Some of the other tracks such as “Escape Artist” and “Signs Of Life” are decent enough songs, but just don’t have the same impact as those on previous albums. Similarly, “Paper Moon” is just a bit too close to being a ballad, but the song does have enough slightly snarky things to say and some good lyrics such as “you’ll fight traffic jams and big TVs and hipsters trapped in their own irony” to make it enjoyable.
If this was the first album Our Lady Peace was putting out, it would probably make a decently big splash. However, with numerous albums behind them, this album just doesn’t have the overwhelming impact that it could have. Those just listening to OLP for the first time will likely be somewhat impressed, but those that have been fans since the beginning probably will miss some of the acerbity that the band used to have.