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The Illusion of Progress (Bonus Tracks Version)

Staind

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Album Review

Staind seem to sneer at the very notion of forward movement on the title of their sixth album, The Illusion of Progress, and that disdain very well may be a Freudian slip, as the Springfield, MA, rock band stubbornly refuses to evolve over the course of a decade. If anything, with each album their aggression erodes and the angst of frontman Aaron Lewis mellows into a mild grumpiness that surfaces only when he's not singing profane songs of devotion, which is most of the time. Ballads have always been his forte, a convenient vehicle for his quivering sensitivity and accidental melodicism, yet it's still startling how slow The Illusion of Progress unfolds, as Staind rarely muster the energy to move beyond midtempo even when they deign to crank up their amps for anthems of mild alienation or vague inspiration. Instead, they prefer to spend their time plucking electrics as if they were acoustics, creating arpeggios that recall "It's Been a While" while sidestepping replication because this slow, stately crawl is now the sound of Staind: they're easy listening grunge, music for recovering extreme sports addicts. So, it should come as no surprise that The Illusion of Progress is filled with love songs from Lewis, a married father of three who pledges his commitment and chronicles his insecurities and dreams in moody minor chords; it's not just an album recorded at his home studio, it's about his home. As always, Lewis' sincerity is disarming and strangely endearing, as unlike so many of his posturing peers he seems like a genuinely good guy, which is enough to make it hard not to wish that he could break free from his inadvertent lyrical clichés, clumsy expletives, and obvious Bob Dylan allusions, to say something specific instead of something sweeping, but that would be progress, something that Staind don't desire because they're perfectly content with where they are.

Customer Reviews

My favourite Staind album

I'm a little biased becaused Staind is my favourite band, but, then again, I'm not sure that anyone except Staind's hardcore fans are buying their albums anymore. Staind no longer create angry music with violent, suicidal lyrics, but I think it would be wrong to say that the pain has gone from their music because of this. Both of their previous albums "14 Shades Of Grey" and "Chapter V" both tried to persue a more somber, thoughtful path. "Chapter V" seemed to include the heavy tracks only because the band felt that had been what the fans wanted, and both of those previous albums never really hit the height of their full potential because the band wasn't sure how well their new sound would go down. "The Illusion Of Progress" feels, to me, as if the band are now making music for themselves. Their music is sad, depressing and filled with longing for something that seems to never come, and this is the music they want to make... so you're going to just have to live with that. This doesn't bother me though, as I think Staind are one of the only bands around making sad music with any depth. On the track "Believe", Aaron Lewis begs us to "believe in me", and on the next track he asks us to "save me" just "for the f--- of it". He comes across as a man who's living a gentle, normal life now, but there's still something missing, something he's longing for, but just can't touch. All is fine, but yet nothing is fine. Underneath the face of normality there's a sharp pain that wants a voice. Musically, this album is far superior to the last two -there's a growing, epic feel to a number of the songs, and they sound much more thoughtful. This is my favourite Staind album so far, because I no longer relate to the blatant hostility of their earlier albums, and because, this sadness they speak of is something that hides beneath a lot of normal lives, I believe. There are other good bands still making heavy music, like Disturbed and Slipknot's new albums, so there's no reason for Staind to be doing it as well. BUT, why haven't they released an acoustic album yet? It would be perfect for this style of music.

HOOKED!

i only just newly discovered Staind and they're absolutely amazing in my opinion! the album's great, definitely worth buying! it gets to me more and more each time, I CANT GET ENOUGH OF IT! i find their songs very 'from the heart' as they say. i dont know what it is, but sometimes it just kind of makes me teary or something, i cant work it out. especially in the song "The Way I Am". they're incredible in that way. but it is a great album, definitely worth buying. i give it 10/10 !!

New Staind Album

The new staind Album is great! Ever since I bought it has grown on me more and more. Staind are awesome and they are my favourite band. The song Tangled up in you is great and I The way I am as well as the whole album. Good Work Aaron, Mike, Johnny and Jon! By listening to thier music you can tell they have grown as people as well as musicans. Waste is proably my fav song along with Believe. Thier music has helped me so much over the years. Just get it!

Biography

Formed: 24 November 1995 in Springfield, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

It has been said that first impressions last a lifetime. Luckily for Staind, some only last for about 45 minutes. After a volatile disagreement with Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst over some of Staind's early cover art, it seemed their big break had walked out the door. Fortunately, by the...
Full Bio
The Illusion of Progress (Bonus Tracks Version), Staind
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  • $16.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Alternative, Metal, Hard Rock
  • Released: 05 September 2008
  • Parental Advisory

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