#6 – OUR LADY PEACE – CURVE [spotify]

(feat. track – “Fire In The Henhouse” [spotify])

As with all the albums I include on my year end list, I’ve spent a few days revisiting Our Lady Peace’s Curve this week – to spur my thoughts along, to see if I hear anything new in the music that hadn’t hit me the first time through, and also, as Curve was released in April and it had been a few months since I’d given it a full listen through, to see if it held up like I thought it did.

Well for one, it does hold up, absolutely; I think I actually enjoy it more now that I did six months ago, even. The quieter tracks are hitting me more deeply, the album’s long denouement feels appropriately paced (downtempo but inspired; I felt it dragged on early listens), and the album still crackles with the creative fire that made Curve such an intriguing (and surprising) listen at first. Even though I’ve heard it dozens of times through now, it still catches me off guard regularly; the nuances are still emerging for me.

As for ideas, I came up with plenty. Then I went back and reread what I wrote about the album upon its release, and it turns out that it’s pretty much exactly what I was planning on saying now. So so much for that!

Ultimately, though, it just feels good to be able to put an Our Lady Peace album on my Top Ten; it’s somewhere each of their first four albums would have landed, had I been making lists at the time, but moreso, it’s somewhere I never imagined they could return to. Our Lady Peace had become the sort of old favorite whose new albums merited a cursory courtesy listen, like it was a favor to an old friend; I had long ago given up any pretense that I might find their new material compelling.  Curve isn’t going to return Our Lady Peace to commercial stardom, but I think the band realizes that; in letting go of that chase, they’ve revitalized themselves as a creative concern.