The Hunter's Lullaby
First Appeared in The Music Box, February 2010, Volume 17, #2
Written by John Metzger
Mon February 15, 2010, 06:30 AM CST
Raine Maidaís full-length, solo debut The Hunterís Lullaby is sure to surprise anyone who has followed his career with Our Lady Peace. Instead of straightforward, alt-rock anthems, Maida has penned songs that cross Radioheadís experimental tendencies with The Hold Steadyís urban poetry. In addition, he also laces several tracks with engaging, hip-hop-inspired grooves. Although the endeavor initially might pose a challenge to some, it also is impossible to turn away from Maidaís captivating presence. For a guy who was getting bored with his business-as-usual routine, he certainly has found a way to become reinvested in his art.
Maida is no stranger to crafting ambitious, conceptual albums. Throughout The Hunterís Lullaby, he expands upon many of the themes and ideas that he previously outlined with Our Lady Peace. This time, however, his approach is far more focused, and he props up his words with edgy music that reaches equally far and wide. During the jittery refrains of Rat Race ó which, perhaps, comes the closest to Radioheadís paranoid nervousness ó Maida paints the almighty dollar as the new religion, and the larger context of the endeavor allows him to use the tune to draw comparisons between the work-to-buy mentality and personal compulsiveness. On Earthless, he weaves a tale of a young girlís search for greater meaning, while on China Doll, he underscores how money has corrupted democratic principles.
In effect, The Hunterís Lullaby not only is a dissertation on how consumerism has robbed youth culture of its identity, but it also explores the notion that the subversion of adolescent rebellion is what has thrown societyís balance off-kilter. Tucked within nearly every track is a plea for nonconformists to rise up and save the Western world from its increasingly soulless existence. This is a valiant argument to make, and Maida sells it with his urgency. Without a doubt, The Hunterís Lullaby marks a new direction for him to take in framing his dialogue, but considering how convincingly he delivers the material, it also is one to which he is well suited.
Of Further Interest...
The Hunter's Lullaby is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
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