Staind – The Illusion of Progress – review

Artist: Staind
Title: The Illusion of Progress
Label: Atlantic
Rating: 7.5/10

Corporate line:
Riding on the success of their last three chart topping albums, Staind is back with the highly anticipated release of their sixth studio album, “The Illusion of Progress.” Staind’ s last 3 studio albums have debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart, putting them in an elite class that includes U2, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Van Halen, and Disturbed.

Over the past decade, Staind has sold more than 15 million records worldwide. They’ ve had four #1 singles that span three different radio formats, including two massive crossover singles, It’ s Been Awhile and Right Here (certified RIAA gold). But the band has never let their massive success get to their heads, lead guitarist Mike Mushok says that above all the band values a record that we love, and after that, we want other people to hear it, like it and be able to relate to it. Working with renowned producer Johnny K on the album, it will be impossible not to love what Lewis considers the band’ s most musical CD with songs that are pretty timeless in their texture. Staind will be on the road all summer with 3 Doors Down headlining shows in over 40 cities across the country before joining Nickelback in September to continue the tour internationally.

The good:
“This Is It” – Staind is old-reliable. The songs and style aren’t going to surprise anyone. And this isn’t anything new but do you change for the sake of changing? Or do what feels natural? This song answers that in spades.
“The Way I Am” – The chorus sounds like the same old Staind and when Aaron Lewis proclaims “It’s the way I am/ I’ll never change” he isn’t kidding. Lucky for them their formula continues to work.
“All I Want” – A little bit of new flavor and its a welcome change. This is the best track on the album.
“Tangled Up In You” – An acoustic track certainly isn’t anything new for Staind. The is a reason why so many people love these songs from the band–it is when they are at their best.

The rest:
“Believe” and “Save Me” – A bit too familiar and not equal to their greatest hits.
“Pardon Me” – Not a terrible song–just not one of the better tracks.
“Raining Again” – Too formulaic and not enough substance.
“Break Away”

Staind delivers what fans have come to expect. Yes, it could be a little more like “All I Want” and lot less like “Pardon Me” and yet “The Illusion of Progress” won’t blow people’s minds but it will stay in their favorites for a long time.

Watch the video for “Believe”

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