Beyond the Valley: Our Lady Peace Releases Full ‘Somethingness’ Album

Artist: Our Lady Peace
Album: Somethingness
Released: Feb. 23, 2018
Genre: Alternative Rock

Back in August, Our Lady Peace released Volume 1 of “Somethingness,” containing four tracks that would appear on the band’s forthcoming, full-length album. We had a lot of positive things to say about the band and its growth when “Somethingness Vol. 1” came out and, as we could be sure at the time, it was only a sign of things to come.

The full “Somethingness” album features five new cuts, including “Head Down,” a steadfast and solid opener driven forward by Jason Pierce’s drums, which persist in tandem with frontman Raine Maida’s lyrics about pressing through tribulation in search of brighter days. Later, things get deeply personal on “Ballad of a Poet,” where Maida recalls the spiritual experience of his first time witnessing a performance by Gord Downie, late frontman of The Tragically Hip. The tune features a great supporting bass line from Duncan Coutts to underscore strong pop dynamics.

A particular highlight is album closer “Last Train,” whose dark, funky groove works in tandem with a subtle hint of the band’s trademark “Happiness…” or “Clumsy”-era quirkiness in Steve Mazur’s guitar. The crowning achievement of “Somethingness,” however, has to be “Missing Pieces.”

Through the years, Raine Maida has consistently done a spectacular job at delivering a performance that seems simultaneously relatable to the listener and cathartic for the singer himself. He nails it again in the searching, yet soothing vocal of “Missing Pieces,” which contains a healthy amount of falsetto for the vintage OLP fan. Mazur’s layered guitar work also does a nice job of adding subtle, but meaningful accents to the track’s overall atmosphere.

One of the things I’ve come to appreciate about Our Lady Peace over the past several years is their ability to present fresh ideas with each new release, while maintaining the signature hooks and poignant lyrics that have become the Canadian foursome’s calling card. “Somethingness” again offers the band in a new light; different from previous efforts “Curve” and “Burn Burn,” but certainly a welcome addition to any die-hard’s collection.

Track listing:
Head Down
Nice to Meet You
Ballad of a Poet
Hiding Place For Hearts
Drop Me in the Water
Missing Pieces
Falling Into Place
Let Me Live Again
Last Train

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