Years ago, Pandora introduced me to Three Days Grace. And, ever since listening to their music, a musical need I didn’t even know I had was satisfied. Their lyrics are often personal and dark, while their guitars are almost always throaty and coarse. As the band matured, their music shifted away from grungy angst filled albums to something strongly resembling radio rock.
Like many people, I was introduced to Three Days Grace with One-X, which is often regarded as their best album. Since its release, the album has gone Platinum three times, according to the RIAA. However, their debut album, Three Days Grace, has also gone Platinum. Which one of their albums is the best?
Human is the first Three Days Grace album without the founding singer: Adam Gontier. Naturally, such an album is going to mark a massive transition for both the band and the fans. Due to this fact, I feel this album was always destined to be treated unfairly. That being said, the album has other problems.
The replacement singer, Matt Walst, is not a bad fit. His voice works well with the overall sound and themes the band generally used. The biggest problem with this album is that it is front loaded. The singles were good. Even comparing them to the band’s earlier hits, songs like “Painkiller” and “I Am Machine” were enjoyable rock songs. However, most of the disc is not so good. The songs feel kind of flat and void of the special quality riddled throughout the a Three-Days-Grace-song.
Despite the record not being so great, “Painkiller”, “Fallen Angel” and “I Am Machine” are generally the tracks categorized as “must listen to”. In addition to these, I enjoyed the odd beat of “Human Race”.
Outsider was one of the first albums I ever review, and its good mix of “old” and “new” Three Days Grace. The music is gritty, and the lyrics have a tang of emotion. The singles were fun rock songs and the overall disc was consistent. It wasn’t front loaded like Human. However, the album lacks the punch of the band’s older material. Still, the album is encouraging because it shows the band finally coming into their own again.
As I mentioned in my review, “The Mountain”, “Right Left Wrong”, “I am an Outsider” and “The Abyss” are take away tracks. The first three feel like a satisfying mix of “old” and “new” Three Days Grace. “The Abyss” is a slower burn, but it feels like it could have been on an older album.
4) Transit of Venus
Landing in fourth is perhaps the most unlucky Three Days Grace album. Both Human and Transit of Venus suffer greatly from the situation in which they were released. This album dropped right before Adam Gontier left the band, distracting some people from how good the album actually is. Plus, Gontier’s sudden exit could leave some fans with a muddle experience listening to the album.
However, Transit of Venus is a solid rock album. Its more radio-friendly than the rest of their albums, which isn’t necessarily bad, but it the band drifted a little too far away from “their sound”. They striped away the darker elements and the throaty guitar effects. Again, this isn’t bad in itself, but they removed one of the unique parts of their sound.
“Chalk Outline” and “Misery Loves My Company” are great tracks, both steeped in the band’s angsty, rock infused style.
3) Life Starts Now
Life Starts Now is a classic Three Days Grace album for a couple of reasons: it runs deep in singles and the record is permeated with gritty textures. Lyrically, this album is consistent with their previous records; they have a (delightfully) crisp emo edge. In short, the band took the best elements of their first two albums and conjured something unique, though radio-friendly enough to be accessible.
The album boasts several great take away songs: “Bitter Taste”, “The Good Life” and the explosive “Break”. “World So Cold” and “Last to Know” are equally as entertaining, though a little slower.
2) Three Days Grace
Three Day Grace’s self-titled debut is still a good album, over a decade and a half after its release. It’s an alluring combination of “heavy” and “emotion”. The lyrics of this post-grunge emo-punk record still hit home. Like most of the band’s music, they are very personal. Overall, the album is filled with recognizable hooks and choruses. Whether it’s the crunching guitars of “Just Like You” or the classic guitar riff of “I Hate Everything About You”, you have probably heard part of this album at one point or another.
The biggest difference between Three Days Grace and One-X, to me, isn’t the style change. One-X is steeped more in rock, while Three Days Grace is much more punk. Both albums are moody and heavy. Both albums were well written, both musically and lyrically. However, Three Days Grace is more aggressive. This matches well with the passionate lyrics.
The three official singles are still strong and notable. In addition to these songs, the album could have spawned more singles, including “Born Like This”, “Now or Never”, “Scared” and “Take Me Under”.
On my list, One-X beat out the other albums for a few reasons. One factor is there are more high-quality songs, not that Three Days Grace or Life Starts Now isn’t packed with good songs, One-X simply has more good songs. As icing, One-X went triple Platinum in 2016. Their other albums have not achieved this yet.
Musically, this album is less aggressive than their debut. There are plenty of “fast songs”, but the overall tone is more relaxed and measured. While this doesn’t seem like it would work, it actually works very well. The end result was a mature, well-written moody rock album.
One-X has four official singles; “Animal I Have Become”, “Pain”, “Never Too Late” and “Riot”. The singles alone have received high rankings, many of them being certified Platinum or Double Platinum. As a side note, I don’t generally make a big deal out of “Platinum” status, however, this band has several highly ranked singles, which bolsters my placement and highlights the quality of the band. Besides the singles, “Over and Over” and “Time of Dying (the latter of which was certified Gold) are brilliant take-away-songs.
**If you want to look at the album and single certifications, you can go the Recording Industry Association of America‘s (RIAA) website, and search for “Three Days Grace”. Sadly, I couldn’t get a link to a page with Three Days Grace’s certifications, because their website is not set up like that.