I can tell you one thing for sure, at least they’re honest. This is damn close to the most boring rock album I’ve heard this summer and 14 Shades of Grey is a remarkably good way of describing it. Every last track on this disc reeks of a heavy Pearl Jam influence that the band cannot seem to escape. Staind takes that teenage boyhood fantasy of being right up there on stage with Eddie Vedder and mixes in the standard array of modern rock clichés ending up with something that is, at best, overplayed and tired.

Even with these inexcusable flaws there is a glimmer of inspired song writing hidden within “Zoe Jane” that does a decent job of integrating acoustic guitar throughout the ballad. Closer to the end of the album, “Blow Away” illustrates that Staind can utilize the washed-out modern rock formula slightly better then most of the Nickelback copycats that bombard us on a daily basis. If you feel the need to buy this album, know that there is much better modern rock out there, you just have to look around a bit.

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