Since the release of Raine Maida‘s first solo album The Hunter’s Lullaby, Our Lady Peace had experienced a musical resurgence of sorts with their two albums Burn Burn and Curve, both of which were the best material the band had recorded in a decade. Part of it might have been due to Raine’s solo record being his outlet for political subject matter. On We All Get Lighter, Raine maintains his distance from politics in a record that is more easily digested than Lullaby.
This record places a heavier focus on the music rather than the beat poet/spoken word style that the first album had, with only Rising Tide continuing on with that sound. That track is this album’s Careful What You Wish For, complete with Chantal Kreviazuk‘s backing vocals accompanying Raine’s spoken word verses. Chantal is present throughout the album singing backup and playing piano, which plays a central role in some of the songs including the closing track Numbers. It’s an ambient track that stands apart from the rest of the album but sounds like it could serve as a buildup to a whole ambient/electronic piece that should come later. Either way, a satisfactory conclusion.
The interesting thing about the record is with the subtle attributes that make these songs sound distinctively part of this record, similar to how David Usher‘s early solo albums had qualities that made his songs distinctively his. We All Get Lighter is musically more related to the sound of David Usher than that of Our Lady Peace, especially with first single Montreal which has a structure reminiscent of his style. But there are more elements on here that are more related to OLP than Raine’s last album, like with the track Not Done Yet. That song would have fit in with Curve.
We All Get Lighter is a surprisingly pleasing record from Raine Maida. Surprising in the sense that while his last solo album had amazing production value, it was much too preachy lyrically. This album is breezy, is different enough from OLP to not duplicate their recent releases, and plays well with the Canadian music landscape. It’s a keeper.
1. How To Kill A Man
2. Rising Tide
4. Not Done Yet
5. This Is Gonna Hurt
7. A Drink Of You