on November 22, 2005
THE BAND: Scott Stapp (vocals), Aristides Rincon (guitar), John Curry (guitar), Mitch Burman (bass), Mark Archer (drums & percussion).
THE DISC: (2005) 10 songs clocking in at just under 43 minutes. Included with the disc is a 10-page booklet containing song lyrics, 3 pictures of Stapp, and thank you's. All songs written by Stapp. Label: Wind-Up.
COMMENTS: I wanted to NOT like this disc at first. I loved Creed and all 3 of their releases. "My Own Prison" (1997) is still one of my all-time favorite discs. All the negative publicity Stapp had received regarding the break up of Creed (and many of the fingers being pointed at him), his multiple lawsuits (most notably the nonpayment of 60K in medical bills, and the 4 Chicago fans suing him over a dismal performance due to his excessive intoxication and/or medication), and his holier-than-thou persona through it all. However, I won't deny a good rock album. "The Great Divide" features words of encouragement, healing, love, support and fulfillment... and not to mention downright catchy melodies. There are hard songs and soft ones. The 1st hit released is the title track (as seen on David Letterman the week of its release). I lean toward the harder songs and my early favorites are the title track, "Reach Out" and "Fight Song". The other highlights include "Surround Me", "Justify" and "You Will Soar" - musically as well as lyrically. A satisfying release... right up there with his old bandmates Alterbridge, but not quite on par with his Creed material. Stapp has been absent from the music business since 2001 (outside of a single song "Relearn Love" written for the movie "The Passion Of The Christ")...and his return has long been awaited. Fans of Creed will enjoy "The Great Divide".
on December 6, 2005
Okay, I know and everyone else knows that Scott Stapp's
new disc "The Great Divide" sounds a lot like his old stuff but that is to be expected because he was the face, the voice and the attitude of Creed. If you were to ask people who only knew Creed through the radio and the media they would not have been able to tell you the names of the other members of the band. Without getting into further, I would like to talk about the music. I think Scott Stapp's new cd is great because he did not bash his former band members and sing about how his life got so messed up. Instead he took the high road and wrote songs of inspiration, hope, love, and loss. I don't believe he sang about the loss of band members he looks further than that. He looks into how people need to stop complaining about circumstances and stand up and get moving rather pondering about on how life has done them wrong. Look, I don't know Stott Stapp and I don't claim to know him. I just know him through his lyrics and about his challenges with his health while he was with Creed. I think there are not any throw away songs on this album but my favorites are Justify and Broken. Thanks for reading my review and please always look into a persons heart before judging them.
on November 26, 2005
Ever since Creed's rise to fame in the late 90s, Singer Scott Stapp has been equally loved and reviled. To his critics, he is a third-rate Eddie Vedder, who fronted a third-rate, candy-ass pseudo grunge band. Creed's music was seen as an easily digestible version of what Pearl Jam and Soundgarden had done ten years before. To some, Creed was nothing but corporate pap.
Perhaps worst of all, Stapp's Christian beliefs and Creed's religious themes seemed to rub people the wrong way. His "Jesus Christ Pose," as Soundgarden would put it, was very off-putting to some.
Still, as Creed sold millions and millions of albums, Stapp certainly had his fans. To the Creed faithful, Stapp was inspirational and Creed was a great band.
Loved by some, hated by others, for a casual fan, and an objective ear, a happy medium can be reached. No, they were not the most original band in the world. And no, their music was not all that challenging. Still, they were good musicians, and came up with some good riffs and infectious songs. Perhaps their biggest asset was their sincerity and their biggest flaw was their complete somberness.
There used to be a shirt that read "EVEN JESUS HATES CREED." The shirt illustrates perfectly people's disdain for the band. Truth told, however, Creed was never really a Christian rock band. While Stapp is a devout Christian and Creed's music dealt with some religious themes, their music never advocated conversion to the faith or damned nonbelievers. To that end, hatred and contempt for the band for being "Christian rock" was unfair and unfounded.
Much to the sorrow of the Creed army, after releasing a mere three albums and spawning countless radio-hits, Stapp and guitarist Mark Tremonti, unable to get along, called it quits. While the rest of Creed hooked up with a new singer and resurfaced as Alter Bridge, the Creed faithful have been waiting for Stapp to reappear. With the release of "The Great Divide," (2005) the wait is over.
Quite simply, if you loved Creed, you'll love "The Great Divide." If you hated Creed, you'll hate "The Great Divide." If you thought Creed was okay, you'll think "The Great Divide" is okay. If you thought Stapp's lyrics were inspirational and heartfelt, you will be no less pleased with his new music. If you thought Stapp was a pompous, self-righteous wind-bag, you will feel no less differently here. Even without Tremonti and the rest of Creed, "The Great Divide" is essentially the fourth Creed album. Stapp's album is done in the same vein of radio-friendly post-grunge that so defined Creed's three studio albums. Even without Tremonti, the songwriting on "The Great Divide" is of the same quality as anything Creed ever released. Guitarists Aristides Rincon and John Curry, bassist Mitch Burman, and drummer Mark Archer do a good job as Tremonti, Marshall, and Phillips stand-ins.
"The Great Divide" is not the most ground-breaking album in the world, but it's still a good collection of radio-friendly songs that should appeal to Creed's base and to that end, "The Great Divide" accomplishes what it sets out to do.
Last year, Creed-one of the biggest bands in rock at the time-made a shocking announcement: they were breaking up. More specifically, Scott Stapp was leaving while the rest of the band reformed as Alter Bridge. Rumors flew like crazy with blame thrown to both sides of the camp. Stapp's strange behavior in recent concerts had gotten so out of hand that fans in one city actually sued the band for their money back, claiming Stapp collapsed on the stage in a drunken stupor. It seemed like they had all hit rock bottom. Parting seemed the logical option, though no real reason was ever given beyond "creative differences".
Then something miraculous happened. Fans of Creed's music had often commented on the spiritual message throughout their lyrics, most always written by Stapp. Was Creed a closet Christian band? No, but Stapp always acknowledged his Christian upbringing. Even though he admits he wasn't a Christian at the time, he always knew there was something more out there. After the breakup of the band, Stapp took a hard look at his life and found what he'd been searching for in God. After announcing his plans to make a solo record, fans clamored for information on it. The record company kept their fingers crossed as their biggest act now became two separate entities. Alter Bridge's record met with moderate success and sounded like Creed musically, but was weak lyrically. Now almost two years after Creed's last concert, Scott Stapp has released The Great Divide, and it was worth the wait.
I don't think you could have hoped for a more honest record. Stapp has said this was sort of a concept album of the past few years of his life, and it's easy to see that theme. You know you're in for a great ride when the opening lyrics of the first song (Reach Out) are:
Welcome friends I have nothing to hide
The journey's end has left a mark inside,
I'm sure you've heard the rumors, jealousies, and all the lies,
I do not fear you
Do you fear me?
This will end...
Stapp wastes no time with pretenses. Each song gets progressively better, detailing an overall message of hope.
Don't think the whole record is happy songs though. "Hard Way" gives a possible insight into the "behind the scenes" of the breakup. Stapp sings "So what am I supposed to do when all I've got is God and you? I guess I'll trust the One I can't see."
Make no mistake, this CD rocks. The title cut is the first single and it's easily as strong as Creed's "My Sacrifice" or "Higher". The chorus is built for radio and it only takes one listen to love it. He sings:
You set me free, to live my life,
You became my reason to survive the great divide
The cd ends on a quiet song, Broken, which could almost seem a strange way to close things out on such a rocking album, but it fits perfectly with the overall message of the project.
One more question, I know time is dear
Is what the world speaks of love really real?
The answer's not of this world but very clear
Look above find love and you'll find eternal life.
So lyrically, this is as good as anything Creed ever put out. Musically? Well, that's hard to say. Stapp's new band isn't trying to sound like his old one, and that's a plus. Mark Tremonti's is a hard act to follow on guitar, but Aristides Rincon and John Curry do a great job holding their own. The alternate tuning intros aren't as frequent as the old days, but fans of Stapp's group work shouldn't be disappointed. It's not Creed, but the sound is close enough to satisfy fans hoping for something similar.
The only down side to the CD is the strange choice of vocal mixing on the first few songs. Stapp's voice sounds like it was put into the mix raw with no reverb of any kind. It's kind of jarring in some places compared to the fullness of his other releases. Also, the band is toned down a lot in a few songs, and while I understand this is a solo record, we're used to guitars being strong in other groups so they seem almost timid at times.
Scott Stapp's solo debut is a winner. He's shown himself again to be an incredible songwriter, able to handle the spotlight on his own. This easily falls into one of my top five records of this year and I can't wait to see where Scott takes the journey from here.
on November 27, 2005
Scott Stapp has lived his last few years--good and bad--in the limelight. It's hard to hate the guy, but it's hard to like him too. In fact, I'll admit that I was almost embarrassed to plunk down cash for an album with his name on it. I did so as a fan of some of Creed's stuff, mostly because of their spiritual wrestling with life. I've always appreciated that struggle between heaven and hell.
In "The Great Divide," Scott seems to address this very idea. Although he has found favor in the Christian ranks, he doesn't sugarcoat things here. These songs rock, and the lyrics are often in your face, while still clinging to faith, hope, and love. It's not an easy line to walk. Scott manages it perfectly.
In songs such as "Justify," he gives us some fresh nuances in his vocalization; in "The Hard Way," he expresses some hard-earned maturity; and in "Fight Song," he's as brash as ever. It's hard for me to disrespect a guy who keeps going and stays true to his style, no matter how many naysayers he finds. As far as I'm concerned, "The Great Divide" proves that Scott Stapp still has talent, ideas, and the passion to back them up. And that's nothing to be embarrassed about.
on November 28, 2005
This album is far better than I expected. While the music itself is not inherently ground breaking, it is good and shows a hint of reminiscent Creed. The lyrics, however, are classic Stapp. Rock music has a void of good music that offers inspiring lyrics. This album will help fill that void. Fans will be hungry for it.
Stapp tends to write about life experiences and for someone who has seen his ups and downs since the onset of Creed in the late 90's it is refreshing to see him come out on the hopeful side. This album is a journey through pain that ends in that hopefulness.
Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.
on December 6, 2005
I am afraid that I cannot agree with the people who say that this album shows what a small contribution Scott Stapp made to Creed. A large part of Creed's attraction, for me, was the meaningful lyrics and Scott's voice. Both of those ingredients can be found on this album. There are some songs on this album I just want to listen to over and over. I love 'Let Me Go', 'Surround Me', 'Broken' and of course 'The Great Divide'. If, like me, you are a Creed fan then all I can do is recommend that you buy this album and give it a chance.
on January 2, 2006
If you like rock with positive lyrics then I highly recommend "The Great Divide" by Scott Stapp. This cd is full of amazing hard rock and rock ballads, and many people can relate to the lyrics. If you were a fan of Creed then you will surely enjoy "The Great Divide", which I think is even better than Creed. Aristides Rincon is an amazing guitarist, but not quite as good as Mark Tremonti. The rest of the band: John Curry (guitar), Mitch Burman (Bass), and Mark Archer (Drums) are an excellent group of muscians and I think Scott did a good job of choosing his new band members.
About the songs:
Reach Out 5/5: A hard rocking song with powerful lyrics and amazing singing by Scott. Great riffs and solo from Aristides Rincon.
Fight Song 4/5: Another great rock song. Full of heavy riffs, pick slides, and great drumming. A good song to listen to when you're angry.
Hard Way 3/5: A slower song than the first two. Has some good lyrics and great bass playing from Mitch Burman.
Justify 5/5: The longest song on the cd 5 min 23 secs. Another slow song with an incredible chorus. One of my favorite songs on the cd.
Let Me Go 2/5: The worst song on the cd. Nothing too good about it except Aristides Rincon's acoustic guitar playing. A decent song, but nothing compared to the rest of the cd.
Surround Me 5/5: This is the best song on the cd. Incredible lyrics and you can tell everyone put a lot of effort into this song. You can hear the emotion in Scott's voice as he screams for god to rescue him.
The Great Divide 5/5: The second best song on the cd and the first single. An upbeat rock song with a great chorus to sing with. Scott Stapp's vocals are top notch in this song.
Sublime 4/5: The acoustic guitar is perfect with this song. As usual, good lyrics from Scott, and more amazing singing from him.
You Will Soar 5/5: One of my favorite songs from "The Great Divide". Goes from slow to heavy and back to slow. Has some of the best lyrics from the cd.
Broken 4/5: A great way to end "The Great Divide". A slow song with Scott singing with a choir. Everyone should read the lyrics to this song.
If you're looking for a good rock cd without violent or sexual lyrics and something with positive lyrics, then this is it. The new band does a great job and Scott's singing is his best ever. You will not be dissapointed with this cd!
on December 8, 2005
This album is getting better and better the more you listen to it. The first five tracks on the album starts with a more heavier side, whitch is typical for a creed album especially the weathered from 2001. The last five songs is more softer power ballades. The album ends with a little bit of gospel feeling with a choir, whitch is personally the best track on this album.
When I listen to this album I don't miss Creed at all, even if Creed whas a great band.
on December 27, 2005
I have always been a fan of Creed, but for some reason I made a deep connection with Scott Stapp's Album "The Great Divide". I first heard the title track on XM and thought "Wow, why does this guy sound so familiar?" and then I realized it was Scott Stapp, former front man of Creed. I called a few friends on my cell to say "Hey dude, listen to this" and put the phone to the speaker. As soon as I got home that day I purchased 7 CD's via Scottstapp.com and also bought a T-Shirt.
Now, my review on the album is this: It totally Rocks! One of the best albums I have ever heard. Scotts vocals are so passionate and his lyrics soothe me to my soul. I can't get enough of the album. "Broken" and "Surround Me" get me through some tough times and "Justify" helps me release aggression in a very positive way. My life is parallel to his, based on his lyrics, except I am a female version and not famous...HA! This album has been written with blood, sweat and tears, you can tell because you can feel his passion with every song. I rate this album 10 STARS!! God Bless Scott Stapp and may he continue to be creative and prosperous so that his music can get me through my life!!! Because God knows, I need it!
Sidenote: For those of you who enjoyed every waking moment watching Scott Stapp as the front man for Creed I'd like to take a moment and share my observations as a fan. Watching Scott doing solo interviews and songs is quite refreshing! Not to say it wasn't when he was with Creed but there is a subtle change in the former front man, there is a certain sexy boyish charm that was not visible like it is now. He also portrays a sense of shyness and seems rather humbled by all that is going on in his life at the moment. We are hearing about all the negativity with 311 and that Casino show that Howard Sterns girlfriend, Beth, co-produces. Is this supposed to deter our love for the former front man? Are these negative vibes supposed to bring him down and push him to quit?? I think not!! Taking a chance to go solo is really a huge move for a man like Stapp, but however it happened, it was a move the world is ready for. Once you compare Solo Scott Stapp to Alter Bridge (the former members of Creed without Scott) you completely understand what Scott meant when he said "He was the voice of Creed". He was absolutely right! Although Alter Bridge has a completely different sound, nothing quite compares to the deep emotional passionate feeling Scott gives us in his voice. Of course, comparing them is not really what we want to do, but you just can't help it. I mean c-mon, 10 years together, how can you not compare?? Myles does not hold a candle next to Scott Stapp!!!
Anyway, some fans were ready for change and some were not. In any case Scott Stapp was ready for a change and I think it looks good on him!!! San Diego loves you dude!! Keep Rockin'!"