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Lifehouse needs time to establish own sound

November 29, 2000

No Name Face

(DreamWorks Records)

A problem facing many bands that enter today’s music scene is how to define themselves, how to carve out their own niche in a music industry already cluttered with too many copycats. Lifehouse, which recently released its debut album, “No Name Face,” seems to struggle with that notion throughout the record.

The first single, “Hanging by a Moment,” is sitting at No. 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Charts. The song has risen to popularity quickly, quite possibly because it fits right into what has become popular in the past year. Lead singer Jason Wade’s vocal styling seems right out of the mold of Creed’s Scott Stapp or 3 Doors Down’s Brad Arnold.

Lifehouse attacks the rest of the album in a haphazard manner. The band members struggle to find a sound they can call their own. From the alternative-rock sound of “Unknown” to the richly layered symphonic track “Everything,” the band cruises through style change after style change.

The band members seem to be at their best, though, when they slow down the tempo and concentrate on the arrangements of their songs. “Sick Cycle Carousel” weaves a simple acoustic guitar line through the verses and crashes into a heavier distorted and catchy chorus line. Meanwhile, “Simon” uses the addition of a keyboard and additional guitar effects to make what ends up as a very successful midtempo ballad.

The future of Lifehouse seems to hinge on the band settling down and choosing a style of its own. The band members offer strong songwriting and familiar vocals that seem destined for success. If they can add a consistent sound and more originality to their future offerings, a long career will most likely await them.


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