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Old 12-06-2005, 06:21 PM   #1
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New article on Stapp

Posted from the Badger Herald, by Eric Mansbach
(http://badgerherald.com/artsetc/2005...tman_retur.php)
Scott Stapp, ex-lead singer of power pop-rock group Creed, has experienced some tough times in recent years. Since the release of Creed’s certified six times platinum album Weathered in 2001, Stapp has been in a severe car accident which left him with whiplash, a concussion, and bulged discs; he has also gone through a divorce and had nodules on his vocal cords resulting in inflammation in his throat (which was treated with prednisone, a powerful steroid he soon became addicted to).

To top these problems off, the vocal concerns continued when, at a concert in Chicago, Stapp staggered around the stage, forgetting the words to his own songs, followed by nearly passing out from excessive drinking. After all the dust settled, Stapp parted ways with Creed in 2004, citing creative differences.

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Stapp uses his numerous personal issues as the main content of his first solo album, The Great Divide. His vocal style and general rock-star-as-Jesus Christ poses are no different from his Creed years, as he maintains the tortured, soul searching, melodramatic image. Amid the constant “revelations,” and claims of starting over, Mr. Stapp and his new band (guitarists Aristides Rincon and John Curry, bassist Mitch Burman, and drummer Mark Archer) do not shy away from the Creed sound. Heavy, clunking confessionals abound on the album, as Stapp does his best Eddie Vedder impression, instead ending up closer to a wannabe-grunge-rocker who missed the boat by 10 years.

His emotion and passion on these songs aren’t an issue — his convictions are readily apparent and his firmness in his beliefs is commendable — but the message is still confusing. In an interview with Christian Music Today, Stapp spoke on the relationship between faith and his music: “I’m an artist who’s a Christian, because I don’t write music to be evangelical … Now, there are people that are Christian artists, because they have a purpose to be evangelical for Christ. I don’t feel I’ve been called to that yet.”

Despite such statements, one can’t help but question whether his faith hasn’t overwhelmed his music. The line is extremely blurred, as the stamp of Stapp’s devotion appears almost everywhere on this album. In addition, prior to the release of The Great Divide, Stapp did write a song for the soundtrack to “The Passion of the Christ.” The overarching issue with this album is the flat out repetitiveness of the music. The testimonial offered by Stapp is a familiar one, filled with confessions on “Justify” of living a double life mixed with sweeping statements of his faith, as on “The Great Divide” where he proclaims, “You set me free / to live my life / you became my reason / to survive the great divide.” The music video for “The Great Divide” captures Stapp’s credo perfectly as he alternates grandiose poses in front of near-blinding spotlights with almost comical angst-ridden facial expressions, throwing in some classic grunge-rock head banging for good measure.

The music backing Stapp is not original by any means, but it remains solid nonetheless. Layers of dark, brooding guitars, with heavy drum lines are the norm here. There is a notable lack of ballads on this record, with the exception of “Surround Me,” a traditional slow buildup of acoustic guitar followed by a lugubrious chorus, as Stapp howls and pleads, “I’m down on my knees / Begging you to rescue me / Please stop me / Don’t let me run / Surround me / Surround me now.”

One of the better songs on the album is “Fight Song.” The lyrics are a bit hokey, but Stapp hasn’t rocked this hard since, well, ever. The chorus lines especially have a slightly tamer Metallica or Pearl Jam feel about them, as Mark Archer nails a fierce drum line and sets the pace for what, by Creed and Scott Stapp standards, is a serious scorcher.

Other than this exception, the songs tend to run together, as it becomes rather difficult to distinguish one Stapp testimonial from another. Ultimately, this is an album that is unlikely to win new followers and seems designed specifically for the fans of Creed. The 30 million people who purchased a Creed album during their eight-year run are sure to love The Great Divide, and those who are not fans are just thankful that Scott Stapp decided not to put out a Christmas album.



Grade: D
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:03 PM   #2
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this person probably never heard Bullets or What If...
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:25 PM   #3
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Reviewers rarely know 'something' -
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:49 PM   #4
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^^ Agreed. Most reviewers just plain suck at reviewing. How sad is it when a Lindsey Lohan album(B-) gets a higher review in Entertainment Weekly than Stapp's CD(C+)? Sometimes I think these reviews wouldn't know good music even if it walked up to them and said "howdy do".
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Old 12-06-2005, 09:06 PM   #5
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Quote: (Originally Posted by titan9) ^^ Agreed. Most reviewers just plain suck at reviewing. How sad is it when a Lindsey Lohan album(B-) gets a higher review in Entertainment Weekly than Stapp's CD(C+)? Sometimes I think these reviews wouldn't know good music even if it walked up to them and said "howdy do".

For all obtuse reviewers >
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:07 AM   #6
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And it's funny too, because he had some really great reviews as well. People thought it was great, as well as many others! I have never agreed much with EW. I used to get that magazine, and I'd read over their movie ratings, and I almost always had the opposite review.
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Old 12-08-2005, 07:25 AM   #7
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Quote: (Originally Posted by Ana4Stapp) For all obtuse reviewers >
Ill second that...every review Ive seen has been horribly clueless
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