Raine Maida – The Hunters Lullaby

31Aug08

The Hunters Lullaby

So, who is Raine Maida?

Raine Maida is the lead singer of Our Lady Peace, a once great Canadian Alt-Rock band. Their 1997 release, Clumsy, is a perfect album in my eyes. Every track on that album could have been a single. In the 11 years since it’s release, it hasn’t once lost its place in my rotation. As for the rest of their work–it’s forgettable.

When I heard Maida was releasing a solo album, I was expecting old school Our Lady Peace style rock–big guitars, edgy vocals and great hooks. I was wrong.

From the first beat, The Hunters Lullaby grabbed my attention. Nothing was what I expected. The sound was fresh, different, something I hadn’t really heard before. Acoustic guitar, piano, strings, Hip Hop drum beats, exquisite harmonies. It seriously blew my mind. 30 seconds into the first song I stopped, grabbed my headphones and did nothing but listen to the album in its entirety.

Maida’s music is so creative and his vocals so unique, it is impossible to describe. But I shall try:

It’s almost what it would sound like if Leonard Cohen had started making music in 2008 instead of 1968 (Coehn is referenced in the opening track, Careful What You Wish For). Beautiful instrumentation and impeccable production with vocals that aren’t quite spoken word, not really Hip Hop, and just shy of rock–yet totally lyrically driven.

He’s obviously heavily influenced by spoken word poetry and Hip Hop throughout The Hunters Lullaby. (He even gives Saul Williams, one of my favorite poets of all time, a shout out.) Most of the tracks have a distinct Hip Hop beat to it. And contrasted against his acoustic sound, they evoke a kind of Roots feel to it, yet so much more interesting.

In all sincerity, this album is AMAZING. It is exactly the type of music sexy gypsy was meant to bring to your attention. I cannot put into words the feel of this album and how truly special it is. You have to listen to it. So I’ll end with this:

In Macbeth, Shakespeare says this about life …

“It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

Raine Maida’s The Hunters Lullaby embodies this sentiment. It’s an album full of sound, full of fury that examines the futility of life through poetry.

Final Grade: A

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