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Dido
Album: Lifehouse: s/t
Street Date: March 22, 2005
Length: 47:46
Rating: 3stars
Reviewed by: Shelley

It's been five years since the release of Lifehouse's debut album, No Name Face. This self-titled album is the band's third studio effort. After suffering through the "sophomore slump" with their second album, Stanley Climbfall, this album seemed to be the make or break album of their career. Over the last 5 years, there has been a revolving door with the band's members. Jason Wade (singer/songwriter) and Rick Woolstenhulme (drums) are the only two original members. Bryce Soderberg joins the band as the bassist/singer.

1. Come Back Down – Good track to open the album with – it's typical Lifehouse, full of melodic rock tones. The track begins with a drum solo and if you didn't know any better, you may have thought it was the beginning of a Coldplay tune. One of my favorite parts of the song comes at around 3:32, when there's a nice little acoustic part that showcases Wade's vocals. Lyrically, the song strikes a chord with anyone who has loved and lost and hoped the love would return.

2. You and Me – This is the first single and rightfully so. It's a love song and one of my favorite things about it is that it begins and ends the same way lyrically – it comes full circle, if you will.

3. Blind - This track is one of the slower songs on the album. The beauty of Lifehouse's songs is that they have a lot of universality. Everyone can walk away with their own interpretation and they all work. "Blind" does that for me.

4. All In All - On my first listen, I took notice of this song. The chorus caught my attention – it pulled me in and made me start the song over so I could learn the words. The lyrics make me feel like life is going to go on if you just keep truckin' on…gotta love songs that do that for ya!

5. Better Luck Next Time - This is another "classic" Lifehouse-sounding song. The progression of the music is symbolic of what I remember back when I first discovered their music in 2000. Here's another song where the chorus is quite catchy and draws you in to listen to it more and more.

6. Days Go By – If you ever needed a song to help inspire you to get off your ass, this is it. It's all about getting out there and experiencing life, instead of sitting around waiting for the "perfect conditions" to arise or waiting for something to happen TO you... as an alternative to making things happen for yourself. The song was used in the movie soundtrack for Win A Date with Tad Hamilton previously, so if it sounds familiar, you know why.

7. Into the Sun - This song has a slow tempo and is nice as a "chill out" song – take a listen to the lyrics and you can almost feel the regret in Wade's vocals. It really makes you wonder who he's talking about. The backing vocals help draw attention to the chorus. This is also the longest song on the album.

8. Undone – I fell in love with this song based on lyrics alone. Maybe it's because I'm a 20-something and so is Wade, but I completely identify with his words. For example: "When all your plans are made out lying on the floor / And all your dreams are turning into nothing more / When all your hope has left you know you're not alone /Just hold on / Hold on." Who hasn't felt like their life wasn't where they'd hoped it would be? It feels nice to know you're not alone.

9. We'll Never Know – Yet another catchy song. Throw in a bunch of "na-na's" at the end and you realize it's a fun song to sing along to. It does have a story to it though – and you find yourself hoping that the couple gives love a chance to grow.

10. Walking Away - Jason Wade's vocals on this ballad help convey the sadness of the man being discussed in the song. I think more could have been done with the lyrics. "Hey, remember me / I remember you walking away" is repeated way too many times. Maybe I'm missing the dramatics of the reasoning behind that, but it's one of my least favorite songs on the album.

11. Chapter One – As soon as this track starts, you know it's going to be different than the rest of the album. The introduction of a keyboard adds a different element to what the "Lifehouse sound" can be and is. By far, it's the most unique sounding song on the album. "And if the world should fall apart hold on to what you know / Take your chances turn around and go."

12. The End Has Only Begun – This song was definitely the right choice to end on. Yet another album ends with talk of beginnings... everything that goes around, comes back around again.

All in all (pun intended), this album does not disappoint your average Lifehouse fan. It may even restore the likeability factor with people who were fans, but have drifted away over the past couple of years. Upon listening, you can't help but recognize that Jason Wade is starting to realize that life is what you make it.


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