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Staind Releases Another "Chapter"

Michael Ford
Editor-in-Chief 

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   Aaron Lewis whines. He whines about his childhood; he whines about his relationships; he even whines about the weather. But, apparently, whining proves to be a winning formula for the lead singer and his band, Staind, who recently found themselves atop the Billboard charts for the third time in a row with the release of their fifth album – the appropriately titled “Chapter V.”

   “Chapter V” leads listeners down a path similar to those of the band’s previous outings: thrashing guitars, the occasional ballad and, of course, the aforementioned whining. Though heavier and containing more substance than their disappointing previous release, “14 Shades Of Grey,” it rarely taps into the raw energy found in their classic albums: “Dysfunction” and “Break The Cycle.”

   The album opener, “Run Away,” kicks the album off in lackluster fashion, featuring some uninspired, unoriginal guitar work. Once past the first track, though, things begin to change for the better with the onset of “Right Here” – the first single – which although fails to break any new ground, resonates with Staind’s trademark sound, encompassing listeners with familiar territory. The remainder of the disc can be best described as a mixed bag; it alternates between potential classic and obvious filler.

   Though “Everything Changes” can be overly melodic at times, it still highlights the overall sound of the album and shows an obvious progression and fulfilled potential in Staind’s music. “Please,” with its poignant lyrics and rough edges, sounds as though the band ripped it directly from the highly-successful “Break The Cycle.” In addition to those tracks, listeners will quickly take note of “Devil” and “Falling,” which represent vintage Staind in the truest sense.

   As with most albums, “Chapter V” contains its share of throwaway tracks – and no song panders to that category better than the monotonous, mundane “Schizophrenic Conversations.” Though the song flirts with decency towards the end, most will discard it right along with “Run Away.” And while “Paper Jesus” and “Cross To Bear” may show signs of potential, more should be expected from a band this talented. Tracks like these congest the album and prevent it from being something truly special.

   Evident from their album sales, Staind continues to retain a healthy fan base and rightfully so, considering they always release quality material – and “Chapter V” carries on that tradition. While it will never be looked upon as a classic by any stretch of the imagination, it will provide Staind fans with what they crave: A mixture of heavy and melodic music accompanied by an instantly recognizable voice.

Rating: B-

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© The Voice 2005
Revised
09/17/2007 01:46:42 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/3_1/music.htm