Saturday, November 3, 2007

Underrated Classic - Our Lady Peace "Spiritual Machines"

It is an awkward time for any High School senior, deciding what to do with your future, where to go to college or even go away to college. But for myself and the rest of the class of 2002, it was even more bizarre. Starting your year off in September 2001 and living it off in the wake of 9/11. I dont think I could have found more of a perfect soundtrack to the strange rollercoaster that was my senior year and getting ready to leave my shitbox of a town for something bigger. I came across Spiritual Machines purely by accident. Just as MTV stopped playing videos and Carson Daly was beginning to depart from TRL, Canadian music channel Much Music would constantly jam Our Lady Peace. At first I hated singer Raine Maida's voice, his nasally approach to singing just didn't grasp my attention, plus the bands sound was too generic. Then I herd the single "Life," and things began to change. Everything Maida sang about in that song was what I was going through as an angst ridden 17/18 year old. Pissed off at society, upset with the crowd I was with and wanted something more. His voice then began to almost speak to me instead of sing. I rushed to the store and grabbed Spiritual Machines and spun it everyday for about six months and became totally obsessed with Our Lady Peace. Spiritual Machines is a concept record that sounds more like a self help book than a rock record, and for any confused adolescent--that's a good thing. It was laced with punk inspired lyrics and U2 style musical qualities. It was written and recorded after the band read the book "The Age of Spiritual Machines," by Ray Kurzweil. A book about how machines will exceed human intelligence and will take over the world. In fact Kurzweil himself narrates the record and pushes the story along. By record it may be the bands least successful record to date. However, like many of our underrated classics, it is one of the bands best. What Spiritual Machines has done for OLP was laid the foundation for the bands breakthrough in the U.S. 2002's Gravity, possibly the bands strongest and biggest commercial success would make them overnight sensations in the U.S. and the biggest band in their home country. This is an album that may be collecting dust at record stores, or on shelves, but my suggestion is to hand it off to a senior in High School or even College and let them see for themselves what this record is really about and what it can do for them.