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Lifehouse - Smoke and Mirrors

2010-04-29 17:17
Smoke & Mirrors
If you were a fan of their previous albums you'll soon realise that Smoke and Mirrors doesn't break away from the comfortable verser-chorus-verse recipe that earned them high rotation on pop rock radio. Listening to the opening track "All In", I felt like I'd heard it before; hitting the Lifehouse archives, I soon find some similarities in the chorus to "Who We Are". But lead singer Jason Wade is actually out of his comfort zone here, setting the emotional pace of the rest of the album with some pretty moving lyrics about boundaries, expectations, self-destructive impulses and more. "Never Damage" is equally sentimental.

Of course, writing 'sentimental' and 'moving' songs is what Lifehouse has always been good at. Who can ever forget their romantic hit "You and Me"? "From where we are" feels like a continuation of that ultimate love story waiting to be finished that so many of us walked down the aisle to. There are a couple of radio ready hits waiting to happen here too. "Falling in" should be on more than a few iPod playlist thanks to its sweet and catchy chorus.

This all sounds kind of boring, doesn't it? Well, Smoke and Mirrors may be inoffensive pop rock, but you won't find yourself hitting the "next" button. There's a small surprise too on the album's strongest track, "Wreckage Ball". Sung by bass guitarist Bryce Soderberg, it's a finely tuned pop-rocker and a personal favorite of mine which left me wondering "why isn't he doing more of the lead vocals?"

Back in 2001 Lifehouse found massive success with their hit "Hanging by a Moment". Fast forward to 2010 and you get a whole different look for the band, but the same catchy pop-rock feel and some intoxicating songs about love lost, individual growth and dealing with it all.

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