With 2001's multi-platinum-selling album BREAK THE CYCLE and the accompanying hit "It's Been Awhile," Springfield, Massachusetts-based hard rockers Staind went from nu-metal contenders to crossover mega-stars. Luckily, however, fame did little to change the band's trademark mix of solidly melodic metal, earnest lyrics, and unpretentious what-you-see-is-what-you-get image. Two albums later, CHAPTER V shows the band branching out a little, albeit in a typically understated, tasteful way. Thematically, many of the songs here concern the price of sudden success and the group's relationship with its uber-loyal fanbase. "Reply" is a heartfelt thanks for every adoring letter, while "Run Away" expresses uncertainty about the fickleness of fortune. Musically, the group sticks to what it does best; a mix of grungy metal and heartfelt ballads, but with a few welcome twists such as the tricky Robert Fripp-like guitar picking on "Paper Jesus" and "Please" and the complex rhythm-section figures on "Right Here." "Everything Changes" is one of the band's best-ever slow songs, sounding more like the Goo Doo Dolls than Godsmack. A subtly affecting album of substantial music, CHAPTER V showcases Staind at the top of its game.
Stainds most recent album and simply put, Stainds best album. Yes ok, so the lead singer does sound like he is complaining a lot of the time, but really with music this good who doesn't mind for a bit of winging?
Chaper V is the pinacle of Stainds development through the years, from the raw album Dysfunction right through to Its been a While and Shades of Grey. Chapter V combines the melodies, complaining and heavy rock that we all yearn for, and so I think Chapter V has unfortunately been heavily underrated by the media and the public.
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