3. Sky Is Falling
5. Am I Ever Gonna Find Out
6. Stanley Climbfall
7. Out Of Breath
8. Just Another Name
9. Take Me Away
10. My Precious
11. Empty Space
12. The Beginning
Bonus: How Long
Bonus: Sky Is Falling [Acoustic]
After a successful debut with “No Name Face”, Lifehouse returns with their sophomore album “Stanley Climbfall”. Their second album is more alternative of nature with a sound that ranges between the grungy rock of Pearl Jam & Nirvana, the alternative rock of Radiohead & the straight rock of Silverchair. I’m not saying it is sounding too much like these bands, but it’s an indication of what you’ll find. “Stanley Climbfall” is a solid modern rock album that many fans will enjoy, but it is less marketable than their debut.
The up-tempo rocker Spin is quite catchy and has splendid energy. With great hooks and powerful vocals, this song is one of the few songs that could actually hit a spark on the radio.
The album continues with Wash that shows that Lifehouse is a talented band musically and it also proves that grunge isn’t dead. It might be catchy in its own way but radio wouldn’t pick this one up.
Sky Is Falling
The semi-acoustic, bouncy Sky Is Falling is the most marketable song on this album, but at the same time, also the most repetitive song on the album. The sing-along is extremely catchy but apart from the bridge it keeps repeating itself. Therefore it easily sticks in your head, but compared to the clever compositions of the other songs I feel Lifehouse is able to do better.
Anchor, with it’s driving guitars and full blast sound intro is a song that can grow on you. Wade’s raw vocals are supported by strong drumming and interesting guitar melodies and effects, while the full blast sound comes back during the choruses. This song is quite intense and would provide a great way to end a live performance with.
Am I Ever Gonna Find Out
This is THE best pick for a radio single. It’s rock, but it’s mainstream enough to go on pop radio. The grungy vocals and the catchy melody are something that give this song the edge over the other songs when it comes to radio-friendliness. And also, it’s just a plain fun song to sing along to.
The title track, originally titled ‘Stand, Climb, Fall’ is one of the highlights of this album. The different guitar lines and the slight echo on the vocals create a bit of an untouchable sound in this almost philosophical song. The song is brought with full passion that lifts it to an even higher level.
Out Of Breath
Out Of Breath feels similar to Hanging by a Moment from “No Name Face”. It kinda has the same formula, though it might be slightly more alternative and has some more fancy guitar effects and is a little edgier. The drums are what keeps this song together, along with Wade’s excellent vocals. Great live song, for sure.
Just Another Name
The catchy Just Another Name would be a possible rock single. Everything in this song is as close to perfect as it gets. Great lyrics that get a deeper dimension by Wade’s crystal clear and powerful vocals, subtle but really important work on the bass & rhythm guitar, while the other guitars gear up to provide the fire in this song along with the fantastic drumming.
Take Me Away
The power ballad Take Me Away sounds a little generic compared to the quality that Lifehouse can display. In itself it’s a great love song, but the album version could never really convince me. However, both the acoustic version and the live version of this song have the ability to make me think differently about this song. So there must be something good about it. Maybe it’s just the album version that doesn’t quite do justice to the quality of the song.
My Precious is probably the most underrated song on “Stanley Climbfall”. With it’s Radiohead-like guitar distortions and Wade going into his superb falsetto at times, this song has a bit of an ‘older sound’. Especially with the slight hint of an echo that you can hear in the song, it creates something magical.
This song misses a little fire, a little energy. The song itself has some fancy effects in it that are slightly out of place and the band doesn’t reach the very best of their abilities. The song misses a climax or an epic ending or just some fire. I’m sounding more negative than I mean to be though. It’s a cool song to listen to, but it misses something to be a great song.
An interesting move, to call your album closer The Beginning. It is one of those songs that convinces you more and more every time you hear it. And everytime you listen to it, you’ll discover something new. At first I wouldn’t have said this was one of the better tracks on the album, but I sure do now. It is a clever song that takes some effort to fully appreciate.
The first bonus track is How Long which is a great song. The live version of this song gives it more of a rock feel which makes this song worthy of hearing in two renditions. The way the verses lead up to the choruses with its interesting guitar parts and then fall back into the next verse is very well executed. How Long was too good to not put on the album.
Sky Is Falling [Acoustic]
The need for an acoustic version of Sky Is Falling wasn’t really high as the album version was already semi-acoustic. Basically you can say the exact same things about the song this time. It would probably have been more interesting to have heard the demo version of this song that seems to be different from the album version if we can go by the lyrics printed in the booklet, since those do not match up with the lyrics that are actually sung.
“Stanley Climbfall” is a worthy follow-up to “No Name Face” and possibly even more a unity than it’s predecessor, but the songs aren’t as mainstream as the songs on the previous album. There is more focus on clever guitar work and effects combined with grungy vocals and powerful drums. The rock fans and alternative fans that got drawn in by Lifehouse will be very happy with this, but the pop fans of Lifehouse might have to take a few listens to get used to this. It is, however, an album that gets better per listen. It might not be the biggest commercial succes but it is an album that is more than worth spending some bucks on.