Half a dozen CD releases to date, admired and inspiring to colleagues, their peers, and fans worldwide, Our Lady Peace yet sets musical standards higher & higher with each new CD. Such is the case with the latest CD, Healthy In Paranoid Times. The only way to properly describe this CD is musically & lyrically orgasmic.
A sometimes emotional and musical tug of war between OLP producer, Bob Rock and Raine Maida, and within the band itself helped electrify Healthy In Paranoid Times songs. The end result is a CD that resonates with some of the band's most poignant and world-conscience lyrics & music to date. The creative power struggle, lyrical pros, and unique musical style truly have made "Healthy In Paranoid Time" the strongest OLP effort that music lovers will enjoy from beginning to end.
At times the most emotionally charged musical relationships prove to be the most fruitful. "I fired [producer] Bob Rock at one point and I think he quit at another, Maida says. "It was a very emotional process because we were fighting to not compromise our artistic vision and bring as much artistry as possible back into our music."
Taking a different approach with this CD, the members of OLP opted for lengthy writing sessions; with breaks in between tabling their creations in order to reflect on the direction the new material would take. The new approach at times tested the patience and confidence OLP has a collective unit. The process even at some points had members threatening to quit due to frustration.
The uniqueness of OLP has always been Maida's haunting yet empowering voice. However, the progression from their first CD to this current release can be measured in leaps and bounds musically through all the members. There has always been this tidal wave of guitar sound emanating from Steve Mazur in the past. On this CD, especially "Walking in Circles", although the guitar riffs are subtle, it's almost like a tsunami of sound. Duncan Coutts bass lines are heavier on such tracks as 'Boy". As a listener you are able to feel more of the bands music on this CD than any other.
Lyrically, "Will the Future Blame Us" pretty much speaks for itself. It's an introspective look by Maida and the band at the current state of the world, all its chaos and where we see all of the insanity going in the grand scheme of things. This is classic OLP writing at its finest.
A lot of the lyrical inspiration lies within Maida's charity work with War Child. Traveling to the Middle East over the last three years, the life, suffering and hardships of cultures many of us will never know now has a voice through Maida's experiences and songs. The first single, "Where Are You" is a heartfelt look into the search for spirituality in the world's sea of corruption. As Maida elaborates, "After spending time in the Middle East & Africa, I came back and saw just how powerful the religious right wing of North America is. I thought it was a culture shock going over to those places, but the real culture shock was coming back home."
There truly isn't one slow or boring track on this CD. The tracks piece together a great story-line of thoughts & feelings that draw the listener easily from one track to the other.
It's now been over 10 years since Our Lady Peace emerged on the music scene. They have brought not only a very distinctive style of music to the alternative scene, but they have put a face and a voice to issues that involve all of us on this planet. They have put a face and soul to music that both lyrically makes you feel and musically makes you alive. Healthy In Paranoid Times is the most comprehensive, timely and amazingly creative body of music OLP has put out to the listening public.
As drummer Jeremy Taggart puts it, "This record is a perfect representations of our personalities and our perspectives on things at the current moment.
Healthy In Paranoid Times is a definite 5 star CD.