Obviously striving for a deeper meaning rather than the overly passionate composition found on their last album, Our Lady Peace goes for the concept record. Spiritual Machines is a bold move, considering it's the band's fourth album into their mounting career. Still, Raine Maida is confident. Spiritual Machines is exactly what he hoped it would be -- intelligence with a cause. The title of the record breathes such power of thought, for Spiritual Machines comes from Ray Kurzweil's The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence. Maida's heavy lyrical depictions play directly into such social conventionalism. It's also deeply personal in the sense that the band attempts to reach for individual spirituality with the hopes of that listeners do the same. Stereotypes and clichés can lead this world into something less desirable, therefore Our Lady Peace projects that inner spirituality can replenish anything lost inside one's self. Call it a deep move beyond their previous efforts, but the gnarling grunge-oriented guitars that have kept Our Lady Peace a silent success (outside of Canada) since 1995's Naveed is a chief force. "Are You Sad" and "Right Behind You (Mafia)" are both therapeutic anthems attacking personal stress and struggle, but recognizing a support system as well. The band experienced inner turmoil when drummer Jeremy Taggart was severely injured after a mugging during the recording sessions. Left without a drummer for these two songs, fellow mate and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron stepped in. Maida's lazy nasal-like vocals carry "In Repair" with sheer essence -- there are no thunderous riffs plaguing the song's initial plea for a little soul-searching. The first single, "Life," and "Middle of Yesterday" also inspire one to look beyond the trials and tribulations of every day routine, for there is indeed something better lurking behind. It seems as if the members of Our Lady Peace have found a common peace. They can still deliver pinch-hitting licks and the brash attitude they did when they first formed in 1993, but they are a little older and a little wiser. The notions behind Kurzweil's book and Our Lady Peace's Spiritual Machines illustrate that such things can be a working force instead of placated psychological jargon interpreted by followers.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson