Happiness... Is Not a Fish That You
our score: 3.0 out of 5.0
to admit, I am not an expert on Canadian rock music. What I do
know however, is that, along with Tragically Hip, Our Lady Peace
is one of Canada's most popular rock acts. Another thing I know
is that, unlike Tragically Hip, Our Lady Peace have garnered a
large amount of popularity in the United States.
majority of their popularity came from "Clumsy," off the album
of the same name. However, they recently received a bit more exposure
when "Starseed" (off of their debut album Naveed) was included
on the Armageddon soundtrack. Now the band is back with their
third studio album, (actually only their second on Columbia Records),
Happiness... Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch.
the world has shown a recent distaste for stadium rock albums
such as the recent Live release The Distance to Here, OLP
has shown that there is still such a thing as a good rock album.
"Happiness..." marks another step forward for the band. The instrumentation
has become a bit more complex, and there are more emotive changes
in than on any previous effort.
Raine Maida continues to write songs chock full of feeling, but
does a better job of expressing them here than ever before. His
voice is still vaguely similar to that of a male Alanis Morrisette,
twisting the sounds to almost a whine at times. Someone once described
it as "a cat in a blender," which is a bit of a stretch - although
if you didn't like it before you won't like it now. It is a voice
you either like or you don't.
of his voice, the songs have taken on a new feeling of hopefulness
that wasn't as apparent on earlier works. There is a feel of freedom
from burden that emanates from most songs, and the lyrics seems
less angst ridden than before. In fact, the only blatantly negative
song is "Happiness & the Fish" with lyrics like "Talking is just
masturbating without the mess" and "everyone you meet today is
just so fucking vain." The rest of the tracks, though not happy,
are about acceptance of situations and a freedom from constraint.
This is best illustrated in the lyrics in "One Man Army" of "Unbutton
your clothes / Undress your soul, show them your vigor."
Lady Peace may not have made a ground-breaking album, but no one
ever said they had to. Happiness... is an example of how
a band can take their previous albums and build on them. It is
the obvious progression that has been building since Naveed
and Clumsy. For those who have not liked an Our Lady Peace
album, this is not going to change your mind. However, if you
are looking for a solid rock album without having to worry about
feeling alienated by the music, without the stadium rock sound
that Live and Creed have gone to, this Happiness... may
be a good catch.