Our Lady Peace used to be something like grunge’s version of The Cure. Most of its songs were all mopey and depressing – kind of like The Cure in flannel.
But sometime after the turn of the century, OLP got happy. Many of its songs became upbeat and had a toe-tappy sound to them. “Burn Burn” hasn’t really changed that, which is somewhat ironic considering lead singer Raine Maida said it was the mainstream sound of the band’s previous album that ended its relationship with Columbia/Sony, and that “Burn Burn” is more like the older stuff. This couldn’t be further from the case.
While the older stuff is the band’s best, their recent music wasn’t bad either. “Burn Burn” suffers from sounding like a lazy version of something OLP has already done. Maida has claimed this is a “proper rock album again,” but that isn’t what OLP was good at. It’s impossible to define any one track as proper rock, because they steal sounds from all genres. For a band that was compared to classics like Led Zepplin and more modern rock bands like Pearl Jam, this album is a huge departure from what OLP was good at – strange rock music with amazing yet abstract lyrics.
Songs such as “All You Did was Save My Life” and “Time Bomb” are rife with peppy choruses and guitar hooks. “The Right Stuff” sounds like any kitschy, club rock song out now, and “Monkey Brains” sounds like a failed attempt to channel Primus.
Maida himself produced this album, enjoying the freedom he had not having to answer to producers. But from the guy who worked on Avril Lavigne’s second album and has written songs and produced albums for “Canadian Idol” and “American Idol” winners, it’s safe to say the fresh and raw OLP is long gone.