Transit of Venus is an excellent album. Like Life Starts Now, it does away with a lot of the anger of their first two albums, and replaces it with excellent song writing. Musically though, this album goes back to the style of One X.
1. Sign of the Times
Sign of the Times starts with a quiet intro, which is masterfully done. It then escalates into an excellent guitar riff, and the chorus begins. The chorus is great, and emphasizes the theme of environmental and political issues. The stark musical contrast between the chorus and verses, is great, with the volume rising and falling between the two. Overall, an awesome song.
2. Chalk Outline
Chalk Outline is an amazing song. It is extremely similar, at least musically, to One X. The roaring guitars and excellent percussion work are great. As always, the vocals also sound good. Chalk Outline, like Sign of the Times, uses a similar tactic of volumes rising and falling throughout the song, which is a great effect. the bridge is awesome, and leads well into the final chorus. The build up to which by the way, sounds great. Finally, this song is also really good lyrically, with great analogies.
3. The High Road
The High Road reminds me, in a lot of ways, of Never Too Late. The quiet guitar and vocals at the beginning build up to an awesome chorus, and then drop again. The masterful use of synthesizers in this song helps to make it sound fresh, and not like a carbon copy of the first two songs. The song is about struggling to get out of a bad place, and that is conveyed very well through the lyrics, as Adam Gontier wonders “Will you help me find the right way up, or will you let me take the wrong road down.” Masterful lyrics, on top of an awesome instrumental section, make this song really awesome.
Operate opens with Adam Gontier roaring “I know how you operate!” which leads into a great song about having someone take advantage of you. A great simile is used here “Like pills you make me righteous, like pills you make me lifeless.” However, despite an excellent intro and first verse, the chorus does not sound full. But it is saved as it builds, and then decreases in volume. But again, the chorus is disappointing, as it loses the full sound that is otherwise maintained. The second chorus leads into the bridge, which is understated, but awesome. It builds into the final chorus, which is again, weak.
This song is a little quieter than the previous tracks on the album. The chorus, in typical Three Days Grace style, is, however, louder, and incorporates heavy guitars. This song is probably the strongest lyrically. Lines like “I get by in a world with no conscience, by shouting it out and being anonymous” are great, and portray the message of the song. And the irony of “shouting it out and being anonymous” is just great. However, at this point, the repetitive music style will start to get to you, and even the great lyrics won’t cancel out the fact that the album is extremely repetitive.
6. Misery Loves My Company Company
As suggested by the title, this song is about misery. And lyrically, it portrays this perfectly. The line “Misery loves my company” is especially good, and even better when put into context. The guitar, bass, and percussion work helps to emphasize the mood of, well, misery. The vocal work in this album is some of the best on the album, and Misery Loves Company is probably one of the heaviest songs on the entire album. From this song, the listener really gets a feel as to what the song is about, and this is not only done through the lyrics, but also the style in which each of the instruments are played. Overall, it’s an excellent song, but, sadly, struggles to be extremely different from the rest of the album.
7. Give In To Me
The quiet guitar intro in this song sounds great, there’s no doubt. But internally, I sighed, and, once I got to the chorus, my fears were recognized. It’s structured just like the rest of the songs on the album, and while the quiet verses/loud choruses were a great effect at the beginning album, they get old quickly. The lyrics here are easily the weakest on the album, and no matter how good the instrumental parts are, they can’t cancel out the fact that, seven songs in, the album hasn’t changed much. Sadly, this crafts a song that is actually pretty forgettable.
The intro to this song songs a lot like that on “The Good Life” from Life Starts now. And, finally it broke the trend of repetitiveness. Instead of simply changing volume between the chorus and verse, there is a noticeable change in the musical style. “Happiness, straight from the bottle, when real life’s too hard to swallow” is an awesome line, and the writing on this song is great as well. A frantic, sped up bridge and guitar solo lead perfectly into the final chorus, and do a lot to contribute to the overall mood of the song. All in all, this is a welcome change from the repetitiveness of the album and overall just a great song.
9. Give Me A Reason
The intro to this song is great, and the guitar line is also awesome. The build up is great, with every member of the band being added in. This song, again, goes quieter for the verse. But unlike the other songs, it builds up slowly. The crescendo is awesome, and gives the listener an awesome feel. Also, it doesn’t get louder at the chorus, but stays much the same. Using both Adam Gontier’s excellent voice and the instrumental section, this song creates an awesome mood musically. And the lyrics? Like the rest of the album, this song shows off the bands obvious talent for writing. The crescendo in the bridge is also a great effect, building up another chorus, but this time, the chorus is louder. And better as well. An excellent song that starts as a ballad of sorts and ends as a hard rock song.
10. Time That Remains
Time That Remains begins with a killer bass line, and Adam Gontier’s great voice. The addition of the acoustic guitar is awesome as well. And within the first twenty seconds, the message of this song comes out. And it’s a great message, portrayed lyrically. The line “And then you’ll wake up and realize just how fast your life’s gone by” is an excellent line, and is applicable to my life, and many others as well. But, in the end, this is a feel good song more than anything, especially the line “I hope the best is yet to come in the time remains. It’s a more laid back song, and by this point the repetitiveness of the first part of the album is gone.
This is yet another great song. The guitar riff at the beginning is amazing. And so are the lyrics. It’s about seeing something as something that it’s not. It’s quite sad, as it’s a big part of everybody’s life, having something distorted, and the real thing not being as good. the line “Expectations, go to hell!” is an awesome line, and emphasizes the theme of the song. It’s masterfully done, and is an outstanding song overall. Musically, this song is awesome throughout as well. The guitars and percussion are great, and help to create a great listen.
12. Broken Glass
“All we are is broken glass, thrown to floor, never meant to last.” That’s how Broken Glass opens. And the use of metaphor is consistent throughout the song. And that is awesome. It helps to emphasize the theme, of, well, human life. The line” Try to pick us up and you’ll cut yourself” is awesome, and adds to theme. The guitar and bass lines help to create a great mood that engages the listener. This is an excellent song, and goes back to the style of earlier songs in the album. But after quite a few songs that are different, this change back is welcome.
13. Unbreakable Heart
After a great album, I really wish that Three Days Grace had ended on a stronger note. It’s a great song, but Three Days Grace has, in the past, ended their albums with one of the best songs on the album. The tradition is broken here. This song has an excellent lyrical style, but it sounds pretty thin musically, and, like Operate, suffers from not having a full sound. Until the last minute the sound isn’t a full one. After that, it gets a lot better, but the song doesn’t stand out above the others. A good song, but not quite as good as other parts of the album.
Transit of Venus, is, overall a great album. It’s a lot better than Life Starts Now. The musical style of their earlier albums is definitely present here, and that’s great. However, it is combined with the more mature writing style of Life Starts Now. Despite being a little repetitive at times, and having a few songs that don’t match up to the rest of the album, excellent writing and music keep the album afloat, leading to my final score of 8.5/10.
What did you think of Transit of Venus? Let me know in the comments!