Ever since Adam Gontier left Three Days Grace, the band has struggled with keeping things up to par. Their first effort with new vocalist Matt Walst, 2015's Human, was a hit-or-miss scenario: some songs really showed hope, while others felt contrived. Their new album is much less volatile but much more average, as Three Days Grace doesn't meet the mark in Outsider.
Outsider isn't intrinsically bad at any point. Most songs are pretty inoffensive at worst, and the beginning even showed promise. Opening track 'Right Left Wrong,' though its title is questionable, it has a dramatic intro that leads into a big riff that gets things rolling. The song is a bit jagged at times however, interfering with the driving momentum it requires. Other songs don't necessarily have anything going for them, but don't have anything going against them either, such as 'I Am An Outsider,' which is essentially just a standard rock song.
The issue with Outsider is that throughout its entire length, nothing really stands out. It's incredibly safe, to the point where the lack of risk really brings the album down. The band even feels like they try too hard to maintain their mid-2000s mantra, with 'Me Against You' going out of its way to establish its point and 'Chasing The First Time' being the definition of edgy. The moments of promise on the record, like the funky vibe of 'Infra-Red' and the nice dark build of 'Love Me Or Leave Me' are lost on them as they don't expand upon the sound and instead stay within the confines of a safe sound.
Playing things safe comes at a risk. Three Days Grace doesn't meet the mark in Outsider, sticking too closely to the standard to make anything that's genuinely interesting. It's a standard rock album, and in the constantly evolving music scene, that just doesn't cut it anymore.
Favorite Track: Infra-Red
Least Favorite Tracks: Chasing The First Time, Me Against You
Rating: 60 / 100
Stream or buy Outsider on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: