(2003) 14 Shades Of Grey

Staind

... read moreStaind broke through the nu-metal murk in 2001 with Break the Cycle because the band landed upon a rather ingenious formula -- toning down the aggression and turning up the emotion, all the while returning to the Alice in Chains-styled grunge that began the whole alt-metal mania of the '90s...

Explicit

01:02′:17″ 14 Songs

1
Price To Play
Staind
3:41
2
How About You
Staind
3:57
3
So Far Away
Staind
4:04
4
Yesterday
Staind
3:46
5
Fray
Staind
5:03
6
Zoe Jane
Staind
4:36
7
Fill Me Up
Staind
4:24
8
Layne
Staind
4:25
9
Falling Down
Staind
3:55
10
Reality
Staind
4:37
11
Tonight
Staind
4:24
12
Could It Be
Staind
4:43
13
Blow Away
Staind
6:14
14
Intro
Staind
4:28
Released 13 May 2003, 2003 Flip Records & Elektra Entertainment for the United States and Flip Records & WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

Review

Staind broke through the nu-metal murk in 2001 with Break the Cycle because the band landed upon a rather ingenious formula -- toning down the aggression and turning up the emotion, all the while returning to the Alice in Chains-styled grunge that began the whole alt-metal mania of the '90s. Evidently, American audiences were hungry for big sensitive guys with tattoos crooning ballads, since Break the Cycle and its single, "Been a While," were inescapable throughout 2001, and soon Staind had eclipsed even its mentor, Fred Durst's Limp Bizkit, in popularity, raising expectations for the group's third album, 2003's 14 Shades of Grey. What they've delivered is a record that follows through on the neo-grunge and soul-baring, sensitive journal entries of Break the Cycle. There are plenty of loud guitars here, but the overall sense of aggression has been tempered considerably as Aaron Lewis' thoughts and feelings take the forefront, with the music used as coloring for his emotion. That means there's not much visceral kick in the rhythms, nor are there head-snapping hooks in the riffs, or catchy melodies. Like a metallic variation on emo, where expression trumps any other consideration, Staind is all about how Lewis is feeling -- whether it's about the world, love, his daughter "Zoe Jane," or his idol, "Layne." The tempos, even when fast, let Lewis emote, and he does so with a full-bodied croon, something that sounds particularly jarring when he sings "f***," which he does a lot, often in choruses. The croon, the profanity, and his obsession with documenting his emotions in detail -- an obsession with his feelings on the level of second-wave sensitive '70s singer/songwriters who also reveled in the specificity of their situations -- are in full bloom on 14 Shades of Grey, and they have the net result of either making listeners empathize completely or turning them off completely. That specificity of situation might, in fact, make the audience that connects with this smaller than the legions who loved "It's Been a While" -- particularly because there are no songs with hooks, let alone hooks as undeniable as that -- but those who connect with Staind will likely find this more consistently satisfying than Break the Cycle. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine