Our Lady Peace - Peace in Paranoid Times

Our Lady Peace has been together for twelve years. Their music is radio-friendly, catchy - familiar - with just a hint of rawness. Raine Maida's lyrics aren't as vacuous as a lot of what one might find on KROQ, i.e. Hoobastank, The Bravery, The Killers... There is real passion in his voice, his lyrics conjure images from our shared conscious - his words are at once contemporary and ancient. OLP's sound is often described in articles such as this, and by their publicist, as post-grunge. When asked about this, Jeremy Taggart, drums, responds, 'I guess post-grunge means we had a record come out after Nevermind. We just make music that we like.'

'Healthy in Paranoid Times' is their new album. Musically, it's nothing new for Our Lady Peace. It's odd how OLP can begin a song with Woo-hoo-hoo, play a Zeppelin riff, build it around some saccharine production values, throw in a falsetto chorus and yet still seem viable, occasionally fresh even. 'Healthy in Paranoid Times,' is a fun record for people who like moody music but are tired of all the wining and muted guitars, and thankfully the band has let the Journey-esque guitar ballads they had become so keen on slip from their repertoire, although there are hints of it in tracks like 'Picture' and 'Apology.'

Our Lady Peace has long been a somewhat literary band, their very name comes from a poem by Civil War era American, Mark Van Doren, but 'Healthy in Paranoid Times,' as the name suggests, is a more political effort than they've previously offered. The liner notes mention that it took the band 1165 days to record the album and note, among other things, that in that time 2,000 American soldiers died in Iraq, 300,000 civilians died in Darfur, 0 weapons of mass destruction were found, 6708 hours of T.V. was watched by the average child... When asked about the more political side of Our Lady Peace, Jeremy retorted, 'Our records have always been observances... Raine was in Iraq three years ago (a trip sponsored by the charity organization Warchild, who also sponsored a trip for him to the genocide torn region of Darfur in Sudan) and it was a big life changing experience for him. I don't see this as a political record, I see it as a reflection of our society... there's a lot of questions, a lot of wondering what the hell is happening.'

Our Lady Peace played the Viper Room Thursday (August 24) night. Their live show is well orchestrated, and yet piercing. There seems to be real emotion behind their performance. There is a lot more power in their live show than in their recordings. Things that seem trite on the disc, spring to life and become potent on stage.

'We gave everything we had to this record; we went through hell to make it,' said Jeremy. It's statements like those that really come through on stage.

Our Lady Peace's best work is still their energetic, mystical debut, 'Naveed,' but with the exception of a few VH1 leanings, the band has done little to dissuade its fans.

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