Although they are very much their own band, Staind are often linked to Limp Bizkit, whose singer Fred Durst was instrumental in aiding the band's career. Early on, Durst suggested that lead singer Aaron Lewis integrate solo acoustic touches into the band's heavy-rock approach. And while Staind proved itself fully capable of rocking as hard as any of its nu-metal brethren, it was ultimately an introspective, acoustic-based ballad that provided Staind with its biggest hit, the ubiquitous "It's Been Awhile," which became one of 2001's most-heard songs.
Aussie edition of the alternative metal act''s 2001 album. 14 tracks including one exclusive live bonus track, ''Outside'' by vocalist Aaron Lewis & Limp Bixkit''s Fred Durst.
Watch out, mom and dad. If you don''t treat your kids right, they''re gonna up and start an alt-metal band to share the angst you''ve brought on them with the world. After all, who needs therapy when you''ve got a million kids hearing your pain on MTV? Staind has never been a band to gloss over personal issues. They''ve given their albums names like Torment and Dysfunction, and their lyrics delve deep into singer Aaron Lewis'' difficult past. Contrary to the title, Staind''s third release, Break the Cycle, sticks with the tormented cycle, covering the same themes of heartbreak, self-doubt, and broken homes.
Lewis has almost three decades of personal material to mine, and as familiar as his issues are, Break the Cycle still feels like a new, honest look into difficulties that can hit people across the board. "Waste," a song written to a fan who committed suicide, is particularly poignant as it grabbles with Lewis''s empathy and anger for a boy he''s never met. "Outside" is another album standout. It''s a slower, partially acoustic number that builds on its own emotion. The songs on Break the Cycle are drenched in melancholy melodies and slow, heavy riffs typical of the sensitive side of the alt-rock genre. Lewis sometimes breaks out into either a hearty yell or a throaty gurgle that sounds like the devil vomiting ("Can''t Believe"), but the best songs keep his passion a little more controlled. You''ve probably heard rock like Break the Cycle piping from mainstream radio stations already, but Lewis''s ability to turn his breakdowns into his art should capture a new round of fans happy to find kindred spirits in the band. --Jennifer Maerz
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