Raine Maida

The Hunter's Lullaby

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    7
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The Hunter's Lullaby begins in a Gothic gloam and finishes in a melancholy bathos of strings, fitting bookends for this highly personal and introspective album. This is Our Lady Peace's frontman Raine Maida's first foray into solo territory, and an intriguing excursion it is. Best described as a poetry slam backed by hip-hop beats and acoustic instruments, the set defies any hopes for categorization. Musically, too, it slips around genre boundaries, with elements of rock, indie, folk, jazz, and R&B coming to the fore, a hybrid sound where the atmospheres hang heavy, and the enticing melodies drift like mist. Creating a "Confessional" is the obvious aim, a place for Maida to open his soul and air his inner concerns and compulsions. Thematically the set is all over the place, as the artist looks with nostalgia at his past and with concern at our dystopian present, wrestles with religious, environmental and political issues, sets off for California, returns home, and experiences sensory overload. Musically, "Careful What You Wish For" shrouds itself in gothic dance and "Rat Race" in rock, as does "Confessional," albeit in retro-'60s British Invasion fashion. "The Snake and the Crown" mixes jazz and hip-hop, "Yellow Brick Road" blends hip-hop, R&B, and a touch of folk, while moody ballads in varying genres fill out the rest of the set. The lyrics throughout resonate, the backings accentuating the almost feverish and febrile moods Maida's words create. Food for thought and a banquet for the ears, this set's atmospheres linger long after the final notes sound.

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