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Raine Maida
The Hunter's Lullaby

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

November 14, 2007
Singer-songwriter Raine Maida began his career as a musician with the hugely popular (in Canada) alternative rock band Our Lady Peace. If the name sounds familiar, the group earned their fair share of fame with their hit 1997 sophomore record Clumsy, an album anchored by the ultra-popular hit singles "Superman's Dead," the title track "Clumsy," and (in Canada) "4am." Maida & Co. have stayed together since their initial fame, though, and have actually kept up with the curve and continued to release rock albums that are still relevant and enjoyable, including their most recent full-length effort, 2005's Healthy In Paranoid Times.

But, over the past year or so - beginning with the release of his solid solo EP, Love Hope Hero, in November of 2006 - Maida seemed to be finding himself drawn more toward the freedom of making music in an individual setting, and more specifically than that, to the rhythm and vibe of spoken word poetry. The fruit of all these new obsessions and labors is Maida's inaugural solo full-length, The Hunter's Lullaby.

Maida's newfound love for the beatnik, spoken word style of poetics shines through quite strongly on the ten songs collected here. Most notable is the first single from the LP, "Yellow Brick Road," which finds Maida piecing together a warm, catchy, poetic word puzzle with beats that beg for the 'Repeat' button. For better or worse, Maida follows his inspirations wherever they lead him.

In the case of the album's frolicking, living poetics, such as the stellar "The Less I Know," and slam poem-esque "The Snake and the Crown," The Hunter's Lullaby is like nothing you've heard before, and you can't help but applaud Maida for having the inspiration and talent to create it. But, as it is with most things, unbridled inspiration can sometimes lead to a few miscues, which is the case with the somewhat stumbling repetition of "Confessional," and the too-mellow-for-it's-own-good amble of "China Doll."

Like many of the Our Lady Peace albums before it, Maida's The Hunter's Lullaby adds up to far more than the sum of it's parts. Except for a few minor misfires, he's accomplished on record and in song what I thought could only exist living and breathing in the dive bar poetry readings of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac back in 1940's New York. This is beatnik poetry at it's best, sang and composed by a stellar songwriter at the top of his game. You owe it to yourself to pop in a copy of The Hunter's Lullaby and let it sing you to sleep, into a happy oblivion.

Reviewed by Trent Moore
Currently attending Athens State University in Alabama as an English major, Trent Moore is a contributing writer for LAS as well as publications such as soundthesirens.com.

See other reviews by Trent Moore



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