Friday, January 18, 2008

Maida's on his own...for now

Raine Maida
The Hunter’s Lullaby

Today I got to thinking the world's in a strange way
Feels like I'm in a 7-11 when a robbery takes place
Do I hide behind the counter
With my hands covering my face?

The Hunter’s Lullaby just goes to show that Raine Maida should forget Our Lady Peace and stay solo – or maybe just stick to his own label because when given the freedom to do his own thing, the man spouts off creativity in ways unseen since Our Lady Peace released Spiritual Machines.
Maida reveals that he’s been a closet fan of genres OLP wouldn’t even begin to touch including spoken word and hip hop. The experimentation is endless. Not only does Maida toy with different genres, he’s allowed his voice to wander. One minute, he’s rapping, the next, he’s singing, and the minute after that, he’s belting out nonsense syllables such as “la la la”s. At times, the experimentation fails. “Yellow Brick Road”, for instance, sounds like it was penned by a teenage boy out of some attempt at self-therapy. However, when Maida gets it right, he really gets it right. “The Less I Know” has catchy beats and lyrics that seem to unconsciously slide smoothly into place along with an equally catchy rap cameo by Jared Paul. The animated air of “Confessional” will have you picturing Maida dancing on the streets Broadway-style and such an image is indeed a strange one to imagine. “Rat Race” (aka the song that should have closed the album but didn’t) is the climax of the record’s innovative journey and includes an enchanting chorus by singer-songwriter wife, Chantal Kreviazuk, whose voice could essentially be the “lullaby” in The Hunter’s Lullaby.

I have a friend who thinks Maida put out a really good record here but finds it too depressing. This is true to some extent. Tracks like the “China Doll” hit you with its somber beauty but eventually, one can’t help but start to feel glum listening to it. No doubt that many will be quickly turned off by Maida’s constant spats at what he considers a jaded and ignorant world. Pretentious? Perhaps. But it’s difficult not to be impressed by the innovative melodies, beats, song structures, and instrumental mixtures that Maida comes up with.

Like a hunter who steps out into the wilderness for the first time, there are bound to be arrows that miss their targets. But for the time being, Maida’s aims aren’t too far off.

"The Less I Know" - Raine Maida feat. Jared Paul
"The Snake & the Crown" - Raine Maida
"Rat Race" - Raine Maida

No comments: