Volume 93, Issue 34

Friday, October 29, 1999


Public Enemy's Chuck D still fighting the power

Supersuckers heading up club rock revival

Boneyard Man digs up radio noir

Woo married to music

OLP confuse Happy with crappy

Changing face of film

OLP confuse Happy with crappy

Our Lady Peace
Happiness... Is Not A Fish You Can Catch

The release of the third album from Our Lady Peace will not bring complete happiness to their fans.

Since the band's 1994 effort, Naveed, the band have been at the centre of the Canadian rock scene. Their followup album, Clumsy, was an international breakthrough which gave the band heavy exposure in the United States. Happiness... Is Not A Fish You Can Catch is OLP's attempt to continue the pattern of success and ride the crest of their growing fame. The results, unfortunately, are rather mixed.

"One Man Army," the album's first single, is an uninspired and transparent effort indicative of the rest of the record. More than anything, it sounds like a response to the push for trendy, made-for-radio alternative rock.

That said, there are some decent tracks here. "Potato Girl" features mellow verses which slowly build towards an emotionally charged chorus. "Is Anybody Home" features some of the album's best lyrics. Most noteworthy is "Thief," which combines lead singer Raine Maida's unique vocals with a well-rounded rhythm section and an unforgettable chorus.

Despite these high points, Happiness... Is Not A Fish You Can Catch is the band's worst record to date. The lyrics in many of the songs seem forced and lacking in inspiration and the overall sound of the record seems devoid of the innovation and creativity OLP have previously displayed.

–Chris Lackner

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
Live On

The blues is an avenue seldom explored by young musicians these days. Its emphasis on lessons and hard times seems to call on a lifetime of experience – to properly play the blues, one must have endured the blues.

However, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, with their sophomore album, prove that sometimes one album is all it takes to capture a lifetime of knowledge.

With Live On, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band relies heavily on the combination of outside influences as well as their own talent to muster an album brimming with experience.

After an opening spot on a recent Van Halen tour, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band is emerging onto the blues scene not as a fledgling collective, but as seasoned veterans who know exactly what it takes to play the blues.

Live On exudes feeling from every song. The raw talent possessed by Shepherd himself is nothing short of genius. Whether it be the hard and edgy "In 2 Deep," the soulful "Live On," the steely acoustics in "Was" and "Every Time It Rains," or even the token blues in "Shotgun Blues" and "Losing Kind," the band offers a variety of sounds which never lose touch with a genuine bluesy feeling.

Despite his young career, Shepherd's worth as a guitar player is already evident and will one day place him among such blues greats as Stevie Ray Vaughn, B.B. King, Albert Collins, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters.

One just has to sit back and listen as Shepherd makes his guitar cry in "Electric Lullaby" to appreciate what this album does for the blues.

–Jeff Warren

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Copyright The Gazette 1999