Our Lady Peace - Curve
Our Lady Peace
Coalition Music/E One
There was a time when I thought it was inevitable the Our Lady Peace would be the next U2. Clumsy, Happiness… and Spiritual Machines, to this day rank in my top twenty albums of all time and I come back to the latter on a bi-weekly basis it seems. Their post Spiritual Machines work has been solid with flashes of brilliance but never quite as over-the-top perfect as their early work. Curve is their latest offering and the band brings their A-game on this one, while doing exactly what the title promises.
For longtime fans, the jump from Burn, Burn to Curve is almost as dramatic as Naveed to Clumsy. Curve has a slightly darker sound and a much more epic feel that takes a few spins before it really sinks in. “As Fast As You Can” likely best represents the album as a whole, The vocals soar over a poppy but extremely musical Alternative Rock sound that is reminiscent of the band’s early works but replacing the “angry young man” vibe with a maturity that only time brings. As a matter of fact the band’s sound is very dynamic this time out. The album feels kind of mellow upon first listen but each repeated one brings new things to light. The driving sound of album opener “Allowance” reveals itself to be an album highlight by about the third listen, accentuated by the falsetto vocals that semi-annoyed me on the first couple of listens. The beautiful, soul-searching sound of “Find Our Way” is another highlight. “Heavyweight” (the album’s lead single) sounds a lot like the band early works and is great for what it is, but misrepresents the album in some ways as it’s easily the heaviest song on the record.
Overall, this could be a new chapter for Our Lady Peace. Do I like it better than their best-selling albums? No, I don’t. What it is though is a giant leap in a direction that better suits them in my opinion. It’s kind of a growing old gracefully sort of album. The band prove with Curve that they still have something creative and interesting to offer without becoming a nostalgia act and essentially remaking old ideas to get people interested again. If you are a lost fan, or even a disgruntled one, Curve will go a long way towards bringing you back into the fold. If you’ve never hear Our Lady Peace before then I would suggest going back and starting with Happiness… and Spiritual Machines and then pick up Clumsy and Curve.
Reviewed by Mark Fisher