Since their signing with Jive Records, Three Days Grace has made quite a name for themselves. Since their signing, their first three albums (Three Days Grace One-X, and Life Starts Now) have gone double platinum, triple platinum, and platinum respectively and platinum, double platinum, and platinum in Canada. The band also consistently takes the number one spot on the Alternative Songs and Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks charts in Billboard. With their sixth album, Outsider, Three Days Grace has, once again, showcased their skill as a band.
Outsider, like the band’s other albums, is one of emotion, specifically the desire to escape the judgmental gaze and opinions brought on by and from all aspects of media. This is especially evident in the opening track, “Right Left Wrong”. The song starts soft, giving it the illusion of be a ballad, before exploding into the loud and heavy music that the band is known for. The song alternates from loud to soft guitar riffs and rhythms, reflecting the lyrics that that speak of running away from everyone and their cruel stares.
“The Mountain” continues with the same heavy rhythm and harsh vocals that the rest of the album and the lyrics are just as strong. The message itself is oddly mixed in its message and presentation. In the beginning, the lyrics tell a story about barely holding on and being pushed closer to the edge, while the chorus and second verse switches and speaks of facing the constant hardships and continuing to push forward. It is oddly depressing yet motivating at the same time, making this track a stand out.
The next song in the album is “I Am an Outsider”, which is everything that the album seeks to express. The lyrics speaks of not believing or feeling what everyone else does and that they are better off on the outside. The speaker of the lyrical story would rather be on their own than to be one of the ‘in-crowd’. The musical tone and rhythm is less intense and a bit slower than the rest of the album, save for “Love Me or Leave Me”, possibly as a way to put more emphasis on the lyrics, but it does not lessen the impact and level set by the previous songs
The following tracks share a similar message of the need to distance oneself from the cruelty of the world and its people. Take tracks 5, 6, 7, and 9 (“Nothing to Lose but You”, “Me Against You”, “Love Me or Leave Me”, and “Villain I’m Not” respectively) for example. The four of these tracks, from a lyrical standpoint, seem to tell the story of a bad break up. Track 5 becomes the initial act that causes the dispute, track 6 the fight, track 7 is the choice whether or not to leave or not, leading to the actual break up, and 8 is one of the partners blaming the other.
The album ends rather pessimistically. Track 11, “The New Real” breaks down actual reality and how no one really cares about one another despite everyone being special. “Abyss”, one of the slowest rhythms in the album yet is probably the most intense, has themes of suicide or reaching the limit of everything, making it the opposite of “The Mountain”. With how the rest of the album goes (a steady, emotional decline from start to finish), it seems like speaker in the lyrics has reached their limit and they wish for it all to end, something that the harsh, screaming vocals, support.
All in all, the album has that hard rock sound and feel that many fans of the genre come to expect from the band. Outsider is most definitely the culmination of everything Three Days Grace stands for with their music: powerful and exhilarating rhythms and strong and emotional lyrics. There are very few things, if any, that make the album unappealing and, if this is what Three Days Grace can accomplish after eighteen years, there is no doubt that their next album will be even better than this one.