Staind Stand On Their Own
A tumultuous childhood mixed with crippling depression and severe self-esteem issues: a diagnosis for Prozac or mainstream marketing selling point? Perhaps both are the case when it comes to Aaron Lewis, lead singer of Staind, a band whose legions of disenchanted, youthful audiences revel in the angst brought forth in every song. So it comes as no real surprise that 14 Shades of Grey follows a similar song pattern of misconstrued problems involving relationships and the like. Thus, in all likelihood, the sheer redundancy of the concepts brought forth yet again should make for a tired, uninteresting album.But along with age (most often) comes maturity and so holds true with Staind whom have expanded greatly on the lyrical aspect of their songs, branching out past their self loathing with instances of hope and self-reflection. The band, namely Lewis in particular, have always had exceptional song writing abilities and have carefully crafted several acoustically driven mega-hits. Capitalizing on that formula, nearly every song on 14 Shades has acoustic overtones, most notably “Zoe Jane,” a touching, if perhaps a bit sappy, ballad dedicated to Lewis’ daughter. While Staind’s roots remain deeply seeded within the angst-driven rock which made their first two albums so successful, the band has showed a willingness to expand past those qualities and the results are very promising.