The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Arts December 1, 2006

A Decade of Our Lady Peace’s Hits

Our Lady Peace has finally released a greatest hits album, leaving fans unsure if this is the end or merely a new beginning for the band that redefined alternative music. Oddly titled A Decade (considering the band has been around for over 12 years), this compilation falls short in numerous ways.

Unsurprisingly, the track list contains most of the singles that have propelled the group into international fame, yet unfortunately lacks any of the tunes acclaimed by experts who actually appreciate good music. While “Thief” and “Somewhere Out There” may have earned millions, their catchy melodies were conceived reluctantly by the band in order to garner attention for albums that are otherwise full of meaning.

Instead of including unreleased tracks, which is typical of “greatest hits” albums and could have slightly redeemed this anthology, Our Lady Peace includes live versions of tracks already included on the CD. These add length but not substance, further indicating the haste with which this worthlessness was compiled.

After 2002, with the release of the underselling Gravity, Raine Maida admitted in a drunken interview on Canadian cable channel Much Music that his writing had become sloppy at best, pathetic at worst. Notable exceptions included the songs “Sorry” and “Not Enough,” neither of which can be found on the new compilation. This was an especially sad realization for me, since it seems only yesterday I was at their concert in 2003…

The audience was in ecstasy as the show progressed through the unreliable forest of B-sides and forgotten tracks. Halfway through “R.K. on Death,” a security guard trudged on stage and handed Raine a note. After the song ended, for not even an earthquake could have stopped such kinetic musical momentum, he read aloud to the crowd.

“It seems some people are smoking marijuana.” At this point he howled with joy, pulled out a joint from his breast pocket, lit it and said nonchalantly into the microphone: “Please, share.”

Was this disappointing release a last-minute attempt to get money or a farewell to a sordid past? Is this the bittersweet transition into a new beginning? While this remains unknown, it is clear that one of the premier epic bands of the past decade has intentionally cast their self-induced downfall in stone by producing a monument to this fact in record form. Too bad, because the truly fantastic songs of their earlier years will likely be forgotten in the process. 


Powered by