Following a massive 2012 that saw Our Lady Peace release their triumphant comeback album Curve followed by a world tour, vocalist Raine Maida keeps the momentum rolling with his sophomore solo album We All Get Lighter.
If you came into We All Get Lighter expecting Pachamama III then you’ve come to the wrong place. Whereas 2012’s two 3-song EP’s may have originally been intended to serve as the basis of We All Get Lighter, they now serve as separate entities standing far away from the full-length sonically. With We All Get Lighter, Maida stepped away from the layered and more electronic vibe of the Pachamama’s to make a record that definitely has more of a band feeling to it.
Starting simple and sweet with the acoustic “Drink Of You”, the tone is immediately set for WAGL as “How To Kill A Man” and “Not Done Yet” follow suit focusing on strong songwriting and lush melodies. While the piano-laden groove of “Numbers” changes the tone slightly, it’s the brilliant anthem that is “Montreal” that is the turning point of We All Get Lighter. Quite simply, the song is the Maida solo song to end all Maida solo songs with horns reminiscent of an Ennio Morricone-scored Western and a chorus that is grandiose.
Later on, “Rising Tide” is probably the one that’s the most in tone with the 2 EP’s and features subtle references to “Montreal”. It’s also a song that showcases Maida’s more spoken word/beat poet vocal style (Think Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen) yet mixes that beautiful falsetto that OLP fans have come to love. Closing out the album with “SOS” and “This Is Gonna Hurt”, Maida masterfully mixes acoustic-driven rock with electronics and some of the most epic jams the OLP frontman has ever laid down (The ending of “This IS Gonna Hurt” especially exemplifies this).
The only downside of the album is that, with only eight songs, it seems as if the album has barely begun when it ends.