Staind with mediocrity

Lindsay Adams

Before listening to Staind I had no expectations. I knew absolutely nothing about the band, aside from the fact that they can’t spell the word “stained.”

The first track, “Eyes Wide Open,” is heavier and grungier than what I usually listen to. It isn’t pure screamo, but it is borderline. The lyrics were fairly generic in an angsty way. The melody, which came through at the chorus, was nice. The lyrics also improved at the chorus.

My hope was to hear some sort of range through the next few tracks, but that didn’t happen.

“Throw it All Away” and “Not Again” continued in the same vein. They had very simplistic melody patterns. They were a little slower, but very similar. Neither of them really knocked me out or impressed me. I did appreciate the guitar solo in “Not Again,” but it sounded way over-produced.

“Failing” employed some nice harmony, and showed a little country influence in the vocals and verses, but the screaming in the chorus almost felt out of place with the sound of the verses.

The next track, “Wannabe,” was a disappointing follow-up to “Failing.” I really liked the sound of the sing-songy rap section, but the lyrics were abysmal enough as to be amusing. It is basically the singer dissing anyone who doesn’t like him, and trying to convince us and himself that he doesn’t care what people say about him, and yelling about how they “can’t do what he does.” It sounded like a childish post by an immature rock star on Twitter rather than a song.

“Take a Breath” had stronger lyrics and drive. It had more of an original, unique sound, which made it stand out next to the other tracks. It had some nice guitar work and vocals. This is a song I would probably listen to again.

“Now” was forgettable; that’s pretty much all I have to say about it.

“The Bottom” was an improvement on the early song on the album. It wasn’t my favorite track on the album, but a decent one nonetheless.

“Paper Wings” had some nice discordant harmony and musical elements.

“Something to Remind You” was quiet and a nice variation from the rest of the album. I only wish that it had come earlier on the album and that they had branched out more with songs like this.

They seem like a white bread version of hard rock. Staind reminded me of a very unremarkable and unexceptional version of Three Days Grace, who I actually like.

Ironically, in the song “Take a Breath,” one lyric goes, “You paint me out as mediocrity,” which is the exact word I would use to describe Staind. They are not bad, but there is nothing new to find here.

I was less than impressed by this album. I felt like I was listening to reruns of several songs I had heard before. The vocals are pretty strong, but that is about the only stand-out thing on the album.

Staind has a very repetitive sound. There is not much variation on the album and it feels a little juvenile for the seventh album of a band.

As for the lyrics, if I wanted someone to alternately scream at me for not understanding them and then whine about how much they hurt inside, I would just hang out with a 16-year-old.

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