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Customer Review

28 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely the "Illusion" of Progress, August 20, 2008
This review is from: The Illusion Of Progress (Audio CD)
I will keep this simple. If you liked 14 Shades of Gray, half of Break the Cycle or most of Chapter 5 then you will like this. It's as simple as that. Staind has done nothing to progress or grow as a band since Dysfunction. They have continually churned out the same saccharine, existential, middle of the road music, and people like myself keep buying it. Some are hoping for them to deliver something hard like Dysfunction again, while others like spending money on the same album over and over again.

Sadly, people will rate this 5 stars and all I can say about that is that this is absolutely not a 5 star album. It's not even a 4. 5 should typically be reserved for a masterpiece. 4 should be a solid release. At best, this album is a 3. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Some pretty good tracks, some so-so tracks and the rest is fodder. There are no outstanding tracks. There aren't even any great tracks. Pardon Me is closest the band comes to a great track, and it might bore some people anyway. Rainy Day Parade will be touted as the "hard track" that harkens back to the old days, but it's really just guitar set up with distortion. In the scheme of things, it's actually a pretty corny and boring record.

Of course it's impossible for me to truly say what you will really like or not like on this album. This review is coming from someone that keeps holding his breath for a good follow-up to Dysfunction. Break the Cycle had great moments often. 14 Shades had maybe 3 good tracks, but the rest were boring and lacking of any passion or artistry. Chapter 5 was kind of cheesy, but I ended up liking half the tracks in spite of the that.

Sadly, Staind sounds almost the same as they did 7 years ago, and they've done 4 albums in that time. They have literally become another Nickelback, and it frustrates me to see such a waste of potential. Hmm, maybe that should be the name of the next record? Either way, consider this fan disappointed again. I will listen to the album a few more times and then it will rot on my shelf. I am pretty sure that it will be the same for a majority of you.

Unfortunately I have so much confidence in the band; I will anxiously await the next release in 2010.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 21, 2008 2:03:42 AM PDT
D. J. Cook says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2008 11:40:45 AM PDT
I don't want Dysfunction part two either. I do, however, want a release that does the band justice. BtC came very close to me. Instead, the hard rocking, Staind of the late 90's has become a paint-by-numbers light grunge, adult contemporary band. My hard rock/metal station doesn't even play new Staind stuff anymore. They haven't since 14 Shades. Who does? The station tailored to the female demographic that also plays Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake and Nickelback.

The biggest problem to me is not that Staind has changed their style. In fact, I liked most of Chapter V - as I mentioned in my review. (Indicating they have matured by the way is not, in my opinion, an accurate statement. Compare lyrics from BtC and IoP if you disagree.) The real problem is that this album is simply boring. The tracks nearly sound the same, especially when compared to previous efforts. It's 13 tracks of blah. These tracks could have been on any album of 3 Doors Down, Nickelback, Seether, Crossfade, Puddle of Mudd or Hinder, and no one would know any different.

I simply want to get some hard rock out of a band that I used to love. Maybe you think this is hard rock, and that's fine, but I feel that this isn't even close. I do genuinely believe that opinion or not, this is simply not even a 4 star album in the grand scheme of things. I felt I was being generous with 3 stars. Whether I compare it to the band's existing library, or even against all time classics or established bands. Just as one example, if I were to compare this album to anything Pink Floyd did (as Aaron Lewis has been quoted as comparing to) it doesn't even hold a candle in terms of lyricism or muscianship.

And whether you care or not, your last statement is unfair and offensive. You have no right to call me out in a comment to my review as to whether I was ever a true fan. Regardless, we obviously disagree and that's fine. You think I am wrong and I think you are wrong. I am genuinely happy that you are pleased with this release, and it's good to know that the band's efforts weren't completely wasted. I just can't be as positive as you.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2008 4:25:53 PM PDT
I agree with you Damien. This album was a waste of talent that the band definitely has, but for some reason or another decided not to improve on the sound of their last couple of albums. I will also probably listen to it a few times and then forget about it until the next Staind cd comes out and then will, unfortunately, go through the same routine. This album is a solid 3, but definitely could have been a lot better. As far as bands go, Staind is still among the best that the mainstream offers, but sadly they are becoming even more mainstream.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2008 8:36:35 PM PDT
John says:
Ignore the haters, Damien! Great review!

Ever notice how clowns who pull the "true fan" card are people who refuse to admit their favorite band/artist/whatever are actually fallable? Little do they realize that their the ones who're encourging the production all this nonsensible crap.

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 11:50:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 4, 2008 11:53:17 AM PDT
I have to throw a positive note in here. I consider myself a Staind fan, as I have all 6 of their studio albums. Maybe one of the reasons I like this release is because my expectations were low after reading some of the reviews on this CD. There are some that say they changed too much, and some that say they sound exactly the same as they did 7 years ago. I do agree with some of your points. Some of the songs on this CD could be played on an Adult Contemporary station, and your comparisons to Nickelback and 3 Doors Down are somewhat valid. But if you just forget it is Staind and listen to the songs with no pre-conceived expectations, I personally find it an enjoyable listen, just taking the songs on their own merits. Staind has evolved, but if they never did that, they might as well as called their 6 CD's to date "Tormented", "Tormented II", "Tormented III", "Tormented IV", "More Torment", and "Vol. VI: A New Torment". I know not everybody likes the direction they are going with their music, but it is not like this is jumping off a cliff. Listen to this right after "Tormented", and you see a big difference, but listen to it after "Chapter V", and the difference isn't as obvious. I feel this CD deserves a solid 4 stars, because it is good music, even if it isn't quite what some Staind fans expected. I find myself able to listen to this CD all the way through without skipping a track, and it holds my interest the whole time. And based on value for your money, the limited fan club edition gets an easy 5 stars. For a few bucks more, you get 3 extra songs (though I would have preferred they be new songs I haven't heard before rather than live versions of previously released songs), and a free membership in their fan club, a $35 value by itself. And you even get a fan club T-Shirt. Very good value, in my opinion. I understand this may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I think I'll put another pot on. I enjoy this CD, but I won't call someone a non-fan if they don't.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2009 6:04:31 PM PDT
I 100% agree with you Damien! I have been a Staind fan ever since I heard the sweet sounds of Dysfunction. And I'm the same way, I hope and hope that I will get an album I love by them. BTC came close. I love a lot of those songs. I almost burned my staind shirts though when I heard 14 Shades. What a lame album! Chapter V did give me hope. So that's why I'm disappointed in this cd. It is good, but Staind have the potential to be way better! And that's why I expec more from them.
If I was a newer fan they would be my favorite band of all time. But I came on when Dysfunction was out. That band was my favorite, not this incarnation. But I won't give up on them. You gotta have faith right?

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2009 9:30:51 PM PDT
Phil R. Long says:
Agreed. I loved Staind, but this knew album really bit it. "This Is It" is truly the only track I found amusing.

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 1:37:22 PM PST
S. Rau says:
I have purchased 4 Staind albums: Dys, BtC, 14SoG, and Chapter V. Like you, I keep buying the new one in hopes that it will get me excited about the band again. It looks like I will be skipping this album...

Not that I was displeased with purchasing Chapter V or 14SoG, they just feel like a chore to listen to (because they are just plain boring at times). Chapter V did a little better, but this album appears to be a step back to 14SoG. I think I'll pass...

Posted on Jul 27, 2011 11:46:45 PM PDT
So they did what you and many others wanted, Staind, back in the dysfunction days, hell even tormented. Not the same album over and over is it now, hell not even middle of the road music to me, cus is not even gonna play on the radio, because it aint radio friendly, they do what the fans want, not what the money says they should do. And they probably read this review and were like we should satisfy this guy. This is not a hate comment bro dont take it like that, i thought like you, i didnt really mind their older stuff though, i feel like staind has put out an album for every mood and well this is like a middle finger to all of the people who lost hope in them.
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