Staind’s Not So ‘14 Shades of Grey’

El Vaquero Staff Writer

The band that can create an emotional roller coaster for fans, and still look cool doing it, is finally back. Staind’s fourth album “14 Shades of Grey” is definitely the sound that has been missing in the rock scene.

Since Staind’s previous album, “Breaking the Cycle,” strung a tear jerking cord with audiences in 2001, fans have been impatiently awaiting the band’s return.

Staind includes vocalist Aaron Lewis, guitarist Mike Mushok, bassist Johnny April and drummer Jon Wysocki.

According to Staind’s official website, Mushok said, “[This album] is a diverse batch of tunes, we have some really heavy songs and some really soft pretty songs with everything in between. Once again, we really just tried to focus on writing some good melodic tunes.”

The first single, “Price To Pay,” is the perfect welcome back track delivering familiar sounds.

This strong tone is shown in the chorus, “The more you take, the more you blame, but everything still feels the same. The more you hurt, the more you scream, The price you play to play the game.”

Although Staind’s trademark is on the verge of suicide lyrics, this album successfully lifts the depressed mood.

The third track, “So Far Away,” is without a doubt the most shocking and beautiful song on the album.

Lewis’ cries of pain are replaced with a sense of accomplishment and optimism.

Lewis sings, “I’m not ashamed to be the person that I am today. These are my words that I’ve never said before. I think I’m doing okay and this is the smile that I’ve never shown before.”

In the fifth track, “Fray,” Lewis continues to release himself from previous obstacles that have disturbed his chance for happiness.

Lewis sings, “I know that everything can change, what I need is to open up again. So never again will I look back in vain, `cuz today is not the past, I don’t need to relive it.”

Another profound difference in this album is that there is an intense feeling of love through parenthood.

In the song dedicated to his 1-year-old daughter, “Zoe Jane,” presents a side to Lewis that is completely unexpected.

The chorus expresses, “I want to hold you and protect you from all of the things that this life has in store for you. I’ll always love you the way that a father should love his daughter.”

The last track, ironically named “Intro,” becomes Lewis’ personal appreciation for his supporters and a lyrical bash to his critics. Lewis sings, “Thank you to the people in my life for putting up with me. Thank you for the time you sacrificed all on account of me.”

“14 Shades of Grey” is the reward of Staind’s hard-working process and overwhelming experience to the top of rock greatness.

This album is not only brilliant but offers what most modern musicians overlook-the honest and pure representation of life.

“14 Shades of Grey” is currently in stores.