When Our Lady Peace front man Raine Madia said the band’s new album was “more experimental and ambitious,” he wasn’t joking.
Curve, the eighth studio album from Our Lady Peace, finds the quartet traveling down the road less traveled incorporating elements of bass-driven songs with atmospheric synths similar to Placebo, Muse and David Bowie. This is a big change from their guitar-fuled alt rock they have been known for. But, then again, Our Lady Peace has never been a band to stay in their comfort zone, just check out earlier releases Spiritual Machines andHealthy in a Paranoid Times.
Duncan Coutts’ bass playing carries this album and he is up for the challenge tightly in the pocket. Drummer Jeremy Taggart is out of his mind on the kit and though playing a smaller role, guitarist Steve Mazur still brings tasteful leads and rhythms. The aforementioned Raine Maida’s baritone is stronger than ever with some of his best songwriting since Clumsy.
Even though Curve finds OLP embracing validity, proving they are still pertinent, they do throw in a couple classic OLP sounding songs with “Heavyweight,” “As Fast as You Can,” and ““If This Is It” to remind listeners that they can still write great alt rock.
However it’s the newer material which has the band bobbing and weaving its way through this new album. From opening track “Allowance” to the fantastic “Fire in the Hen House,” OLP shows a tremendous growth in their music and as individual performances.
Forceful, but understood, the experimental side of OLP meshes quite well with the classic OLP. In the past, this band has had its inner battles, nearly breaking up, but this time the band comes out swinging together instead of at each other. They are here to prove their music still matters and in fact it does.