“I’m prayin’ that you don’t burn out… or fade way”
Our Lady Peace is a Canadian post-grunge alternative rock band formed in 1992 by lead vocalist Raine Maida. The band has released eight studio albums, to date, and, has had chart success, in both Canada and the U.S., with songs like “Starseed”, “Superman’s Dead”, “Clumsy”, and, of course, “Somewhere Out There”. My friend Dave was a big fan of Our Lady Peace. Me? Not so much, at first. I liked “Clumsy” and “4AM”, and thought “Superman’s Dead” was OK, but, when I heard “Somewhere Out There”, I was sold, like Dave.
“Somewhere Out There” was the lead single from Our LadyPeace‘s 5th album Gravity (2002), whose title is taken from the song’s line, “You’re falling out of reach / Defying gravity.” Gravity was a departure for the band in that, produced by Bob Rock (Aerosmith, Metallica), it introduced a more mainstream sound that die-hard fans felt was an attempt to appeal to American audiences. Well, it worked. “Do You Like It”, the 3rd single “Made Of Steel”, “Sorry”, the 2nd single “Innocent” (which David Cook sang on American Idol in 2008), and “Not Enough” are great songs, but, “Somewhere Out There”, for me, is a near perfect gem. Sure, on Gravity, Our Lady Peace‘s complex melody structures were simplified, but, at least, Raine Maida‘s “erractic” singing style was left intact.
“Somewhere Out There” is a heartbreakingly beautiful ballad which, I think, is about Raine Maida yearning for his wife, his soulmate, Canadian singer Chantal Kreviazuk, while she’s on tour: “Hope you remember me when you’re home sick and need a change / I miss your purple hair, I miss the way you taste.” Or, it’s about letting go in hopes of finding what’s been lost: “You’ve gone to save your tired soul, you’ve gone to save our lives / I know you’ll come back someday, on a bed of nails I’ll wait.” But, either way, Maida‘s impassioned vocal delivery makes this mournful ballad heartfelt and sincere, especially in the big soaring choruses: “You’re falling back to me, you’re a star that I can see, yeah / I know you’re out there, somewhere out there.”
I love the song’s beautifully shot video, too, in which Our Lady Peace performs as a young girl climbs the speaker tower and throws herself, backward, onto the waiting hands of the band’s adoring fans. Watch closely when that beauty is first caught by the crowd … That belly! Those abs!! Thank God for HD!!!
Our Lady Peace followed-up Gravity with Healthy in Paranoid Times (2005), also produced by Bob Rock. The album was good, but, I quickly fell back into casual fan status, and, have remained there ever since. Gravity, which I listen to now and then, is still my favorite album by Our Lady Peace, and, “Somewhere Out There” often ends up on my random playlists, as does my 2nd favorite track, “Do You Like It”.
OK, this new category is reserved for, well, songs that I f*cking love, but, from artists that I’m not obsessively into. I chose “Somewhere Out There” for my first song in this category because that’s where my obsessions led this week. I recently posted about a “screenplay” I wrote for my own entertainment called Summer Cody. I mentioned that I wrote lyrics for a song called “Desperately Wanting” that, in my story, is a #1 hit for my fictional ’90s rocker. My song doesn’t have a melody, but, it’s sound (and title) was originally inspired by “Desperate” by Christian alternative rockers Monday Morning. “Desperate” begins with a “Wonderwall”-esque acoustic riff which gives way to a harder-rocking sound after the second verse. Perfect. However, shortly after, I discovered “No Escuro” by Brazilian rocker Pitty. “No Escuro” begins with an acoustic riff that recalls Nirvana‘s “Polly” before giving way to grungier riffs and fiery vocals. I knew this was how I wanted my female rocker to sound (except in English not Portuguese). Anyway …
I was listening to “Desperate” while writing my self-indulgent post. The song, from Monday Morning‘s album Fool’s Paradise (2005), is a harrowing story of a woman broken by domestic abuse: “And I see the pain runnin’ from your eyes / It tells me that you’re desperate to find / A love that can melt your cold heart inside / Heal your hurt and ease your mind.” Monday Morning cites as influences bands like U2, Pearl Jam, Silverchair, Led Zeppelin, and … Our Lady Peace. Now, here I am loving “Somewhere Out There” all over again.
Oh, by the way, this is what true love looks like …