Lifehouse – Who We Are
Geffen Records (6/19/07)
Pop / Rock
The main problem with Lifehouse’s new album, Who We Are, is that one goes track to track and does not feel much of an artistic effort by the band to do much of anything different (save for one track) than what we’ve already heard in previous releases. A successful formula is important in the music business, but listening to twelve songs that are hard to tell apart, or even be able to remember a few hours later, doesn’t make a good record. I would rather recognize Lifehouse for previous hits like “You and Me” and “Hanging by a Moment” rather than most of the songs on the hohum Who We Are.
“Disarray” has a rocking start, though it quickly fizzles out, and has a chance to be a cookie-cutter radio hit for the band, along with “First Time”, which is the album’s first single, though neither is really that ambitious and both are forgettable. “Whatever It Takes” and “Make Me Over” follow the band’s signature formula (yawn), while “Bridges” has a little Collective Soul thrown in, “Learn You Inside Out” felt like a failed Beatles/John Lennon effort and “Storm” sounds like a song I’ve heard before that I can’t recall, but the song I couldn’t remember was better. Yes, even though that other song that I can’t remember was obviously forgettable, “Storm” is still worse.
The Malibu trio is best when they are writing songs for romantic or sad movies; like many of these unthreatening, melodic pop-rock bands, that seems to be their particular niche. Jason Wade’s slight, hoarse crooning has recently been ripped off by The Fray, and will be ripped off someone else, and someone else as long as there is an audience for this music. But as far as this album is concerned, it really lacks any sort of passion at all, and sounds like something that was prepackaged by the label and recorded by the band over the course of an afternoon. The only real exception was “The Joke”, with its relatively loud, inspried sound that woke me up in the middle of the album, something that I certainly needed. They should explore this a bit more to break the doldrums.
If you are a diehard Lifehouse fan, you’ll like this record. If you’re a passive Lifehouse fan, you’d probably be better off to just wait to go to one of the concerts on their tour this summer, as these songs will more than likely be a little more interesting live, and you’ll get the Goo Goo Dolls, too.