Track-By-Track: Staind – The Illusion Of Progress (2008)

“This Is It” opens The Illusion Of Progress and it does not rock nearly as hard as the classic opener “Suffocate” from Dysfunction (1999). This tune is great at keeping the eighth notes steady throughout the intro and refrain. So far Staind sounds more like 3 Doors Down than the band I once knew. 5/10

“The Way I Am” has a cool little bass-diddy intro and even has a bit of A Perfect Circle feel to it. Then I get bored as the tune becomes rather predictable. The middle breakdown part is mixed well. This song seems to be about being who you are, and there is no changing that, because you are who you are. 5/10

“Believe” has a pretty guitar intro that I am going to figure out on my ax a little later for fun. This song turns into another tune about believing in yourself. I can say that I think it is better than the first two tracks and I almost enjoyed it. 6/10

“Save Me” is another slower tune which means we are 4 for 4 with hearing nothing but ballads since the beginning of the album. I am not sure that this record is the most musical of their releases. I think it is just different so it was more challenging for them to make it. 5/10

“All I Want” Well, all I want is a rocking tune and instead I am getting something that reminds me of a Dashboard Confessional track. This song has the acoustic guitar throughout and a pretty catchy chorus. It also has the typical stop in the middle of the song to make way for the acoustic/vocal part. 6/10

“Pardon Me” has a slow clean guitar intro that sounds fun to play and perhaps has a Pink Floyd feel to it. I prefer the Incubus song with the same name. 5/10

“Lost Along The Way” begins with the drums pumping then guitar harmonics chime in, and now we have the 7th ballad on the record. I am not sure what else would set this song apart from the previous tracks. Well, I do enjoy the sound of Lewis’s voice during the chorus and the effort of the soft guitar solo. 6/10

“Break Away” Based on the title, I really thought that this was going to be a rocker, and it probably is the most rocking song so far. You can hear a refreshing touch of anger in Aaron Lewis’s voice when he sings the lyrics, “if I could break away.” 6/10

“Tangled Up In You” is driven by a slow and simple acoustic riff. This just might not only be the best song on the album but one of the better acoustic ballads of 2008. This tune will have many teens and 20 somethings reflecting on old or new relationships that may, or may not, have existed. 8/10

“Raining Again” begins with a spacey intro and then kicks in to sound like the rest of the album (minus “Tangled”). I think I would get very depressed if I went to a Staind show on this tour. The songs sound like such downers even though the guitar solo sounds glorious on this track. 6/10

“Rainy Day Parade” has a slightly different beat from the rest of the songs which is refreshing. I enjoy the simple guitar riffs on this song. 6/10

“The Corner” has a basic slow clean guitar intro with some slides or volume swells over it. This song is the only other stand out track other than “Tangled.” It has a hint of blues to it courtesy of the lead guitar, keyboards, and gospel choir. It seems like they were going for a Dark Side Of The Moon feel on this one. 7/10

“Nothing Left To Say” begins with some mildly funky drums and clean guitar. It isn’t gold but it is better than the beginning of the album. It is also one of the better songs on the record. Mike Mushok shows off his skills on the lead parts. 6.5/10

Staind is Aaron Lewis [Vocals], Mike Mushok [Guitars], Johnny April [Bass], and Jon Wysocki

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