The title of Staind's sophomore album refers to the misery passed on from generation to generation; specifically, singer Aaron Lewis' family issues. And Break the Cycle is an issues album -- Lewis' therapy session for all to hear. "For You" reads like a final confession from child to parent ("I am f*cked up because you are"), and on the hit single "It's Been Awhile," he sings, "I cannot blame this on my father." Staind wraps up all this pain in deceivingly melodic packages, sort of like Nirvana's "All Apologies" without the depth. Lewis has a Kurt Cobain-like ache to his voice, which makes the more affecting songs -- like the acoustic version of "Outside" -- genuine (or at least appear that way). Cycle is ultimately no more than 50 minutes of standard-issue desolation, but the softness of many of the tracks gives it compassion, something most of Staind's peers have no time for.
Break the Cycle Review
by Michael Gallucci
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