One-X

Three Days Grace

Jive, 2006

http://www.threedaysgrace.com/

REVIEW BY: Corwin Egbert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/26/2008

It was the summer of 2006 and I had a really fantastic MP3 player that could record songs off the radio. It was in that way I first discovered Canadian-based grunge rockers Three Days Grace, recording the lead single off their most recent album, “Animal I Have Become” from 2006’s One-X. I listened to that track over and over until I had it memorized, then quickly went to Borders to search out the album from which it came, and fell in love. 

The disc starts out with “It’s All Over,” a song about substance abuse, which is something vocalist Adam Gontier would know about, having written this track (and others on the album) while in rehab for Oxycontin abuse in 2005. It’s a sad, angry song about someone watching a friend destroy themselves, full of lush harmonies and simple guitar work. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Of course, “Animal I Have Become,” with its distinctive bassline and poignant lyrics, is still one of my favorites. Like “It’s All Over,” “Animal” tells how Gontier struggled with his addiction. It’s also available in an acoustic version on iTunes. 

Continuing in this vein, “Never Too Late” deals with suicide and attempting to pull someone back from the edge. The chorus features a beautiful piano segment that adds a lot of depth to this song. Meanwhile, “On My Own,” the fifth track, is a follow-up to “Home” on their previous album, 2003’s Three Days Grace. Along with some excellent guitar work in the chorus, “On My Own” contains lyrics about finally leaving home and feeling the pain of doing so, but understanding why it was necessary.

The album also explores fractured relationships and attempts to move beyond them. “Let It Die” is a break-up track in which the narrator was blamed for it and is now attempting to explain himself, and feeling tired of being considered responsible. The production of this track is spot-on as well. “Over And Over” is simple boy-meets-girl song, except that the girl doesn’t even acknowledge the boy’s affection, and he’s tired of this cycle of love and pain (which is something I think we can all relate to at some point in our lives). The violin work in this song is truly wonderful. Meanwhile, “Gone Forever” is a song about finally letting go of someone following a bad break-up and acknowledging that you do not need the other person. It’s a track about independence, and its sentiment is something that a lot of people in abusive relationships need to hear.

Overall, the production on One-X is on par, flowing and merging well with each track, though Gontier’s vocals, despite their honesty, are a little rough. The instrumentation on this release is decent, though not altogether noteworthy: the basswork is kind of hidden, and the guitars are good, but simple. It’s ultimately the production that really pulls these songs together. But if you’re looking for a good hard rock album with a deeper sense of meaning, Three Days Grace has done it on this disc.

Rating: A-

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