OUR LADY PEACE play the Phoenix Tuesday (April 3). See listing. Rating: NNN
According to interviews with the band, Our Lady Peace's eighth album is either a return to their 90s glory years or a bold experimental leap forward. It's not either, but were you really expecting the grunge rockers to go avant-garde? It does sound like they've bought a bunch of new effects pedals for the guitars and spent some hours reading the manuals of their keyboards, but they're essentially the same modern rock band they've always been.
Curve isn't going to change anyone's mind about Our Lady Peace. If you're a fan and aren't sick of Raine Maida's overwrought vocals, you'll enjoy it. The rest of us will stay annoyed. However, even we haters have to admit that it sounds like OLP are trying to challenge themselves, and for the first time in a while they don't seem to have written every song with mainstream radio play in mind.
Top track: As Fast As You Can