After following STONE SOUR since their big debut and their even bigger follow-up album, it was hard not to have some higher expectations for this third album, “Audio Secrecy.” The second album was a massive step up to the plate showing a band shedding its massive Grunge influences for a heavier and more mainstreamed Hard Rock sound giving them a path to really utilize its members and their talents. Where do you go from there?
Turns out STONE SOUR decided to not really go anywhere from there, much to the dismay of this reviewer. Instead of pushing themselves, they tend to water down the mass of this album and actually move away from their heavier songs. In fact, it’s not too much to say that “Audio Secrecy” is heavily burdened by ballads. A solid portion of this album is dedicated to those mid-tempo melody driven tracks fully embracing Taylor’s singing abilities and the band’s radio friendliness.
Considering the track record for STONE SOUR’s ballads and their high ranking when it comes to popular singles, it’s not that unusual of a choice. The band still retains some of those nice heavier riff balanced and scream filled tracks too, but the balance is far from being even. The album definitely lacks in this area and it makes the listener feel like the kid on the top of the teeter-totter dangling there. Yeah, it’s nice for a while but occasionally you want down or to at least go up and down. Just lacks the fun it could have.
STONE SOUR still remains a band to keep an eye on as the talent of their members for playing this radio friendly Hard Rock/Heavy Metal takes them a bit above their peers. “Audio Secrecy” just happens to feel like an album that focused on one aspect (the melodic ballad like tracks) too much and forgot about the rest. Its not a bad release, but not very memorable.
Songs to check out: “Digital (Did You Tell)”, “Say You’ll Haunt Me”, “Hesitate”.
(Online January 4, 2011)