Album: Staind: Chapter V
Street Date: August 9, 2005
Length: 50:35
Rating: 2.5
Reviewed by: Kevin

It's hard not to be jaded. I have been a dedicated fan of Staind since their major label debut album Dysfunction. It was aggressive, yet heartfelt emotional heartbreak and torment, something that could not be denied when you hear the opening bassline in "Mudshovel" or the power behind "Home". When they released the follow up, Break The Cycle, it became the soundtrack to a dark depressed generation with massive hits like "It's Been Awhile" & "Outside".

But life moves on, a person can not stay in that dark hole forever. By the time they released 14 Shades Of Grey, the band was in a good place, and had to look back to write a miserable song, which just did not feel genuine at all. So where does this leave Staind? Their fifth studio album Chapter V, shows the continuation of life's journey.

1. Run Away - They come out of the gate with a blazing guitar riff that quickly fades away. It's a perfect example of the pace they are setting for this album. Mixing the styles they had kept separate before. Starts hard, drops the tempo, then picks it back up again.

2. Right Here - The lead single, and I actually agree with the choice they made of using this (unlike "Price To Play" from 14 Shades of Grey which did not represent the CD whatsoever). It's a great mid tempo track, the trademark Staind vocals and hard rock we've come to recognize from them.

3. Paper Jesus - They hit you heavy here. Vocal distortion over fast heavy guitars and drums. Too heavy to be used as a single, so I was surprised it was placed in track 3.

4. Schizophrenic Conversations - Slowed down quite a bit, you can tell a lot of thought went into it. I have no doubts that this will tear up the charts if given a chance.

5. Falling - This feels like something you would get on the Dysfunction album. Song structure and production, it's the style we've come to love. Lyrically it falls rather short however. It doesn't hit you as hard as the music promised that it would.

6. Cross To Bear - A powerful track, lyrics are thought out and feels quite genuine. Everything was kept tight, it came together well.

7. Devil - A slower tempo track, you can almost hear the sadness in his voice.

8. Please - Wonderful guitar work. But other than that, it's not that much of a step forward for them. It's not too far removed from something we might have heard on 14 Shades.

9. Everything Changes - The base of the track is a soft acoustic, not a far cry from "So Far Away". Not bad for a power ballad.

10. Trippy - Quite possibly my favorite track on the album. It's a slower tempo with beautiful lyrics. The only thing I didn't like was the way he sang "apathy". Otherwise this song will probably touch you in one way or another.

11. King Of All Excuses - Why did they include this? They are better than this. It's a very heavy track, a lot of distortion is used. I'm trying to figure out who the song was written about. I have my theories but I can not say for sure.

12. Reply - A nice way to wrap it up. A song about life, and letters he's received.

It's a step back up from their last album 14 Shades. They got close to tapping into the magic they once had, but never again will we get another Break The Cycle. I guess the true test and question for us now is, can this album stand on it's own merits? I am forced to say no. It's far from a junk CD, but will be forgettable in a year or two.

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