Theory Of A Deadman – The Truth Is… (2011)

Posted: July 8, 2011 in Music

Time to cut straight to the chase. Every good modern rock band has that one ballad or mid-tempo song that hits it big on the radio and takes them from stardom to an unforgettable name in music. Just in the last few years, Hinder had “Lips of an Angel,” Creed graced us with “Arms Wide Open,” the uber-popular Nickelback scored with “How You Remind Me,” and even the party-hearty Buckcherry slowed things down for “Don’t Go Away.” Fellow brothers in the scene Theory of A Deadman, with three albums already under their belt, have yet to cash in on the power-ballad, but it’s coming – and that’s actually unfortunate.

The Canadian band has achieved a decent amount of popularity over it’s nine year career, with several heavy hitters on their resume. “Bad Girlfriend” from their third album “Scars and Souvenirs” reached the top of most modern rock charts upon its release, and had the band poised to leap into the forefront with their next album. That album comes in the form of “The Truth Is…” slated for a July 12th release date in North America.

I was anxious to hear this release. I knew that the band would take the huge step forward to separate itself from the log-jam of Nickelback sound-alikes with an even heavier, more profound musical statement.

And then I started listening to it…

It hit hard enough right off the bat with the first single from the album “Lowlife,” a fresh, energetic, funny tale of the uninspired populous. Clever lyrics. Catchy hooks. Rock anthem excellence. The next track, “Bitch Came Back,” was great. Another humorous jab, this time at the expense of that regrettable ex-relationship we’ve all endured. But the worst relationship ever would be a welcome reunion in comparison to the rest of this album.

As mentioned, Theory of a Deadman haven’t had that hit ballad yet, so to ensure they have one this time around, they give us almost a full album’s-worth to choose from. And it totally derails the effort. The band is at its best when it throws the rough-edged rockers at us – and there are just far too few of them this time around. It’s been my experience through the years that a band shows their true colors on their fourth album, and if this is the portrait Theory of a Deadman chose to paint to represent who they really are, I think we’ve all been taken for a ride.

This album, outside of a few really decent tracks, is painted with uninspired ballads, country-tinged sing-a-longs, and what felt like Daughtry’s dirty socks. I can understand the desire for a hit single, and I’m fully aware that the band has a little bit of country/acoustic in their back pocket – but this was their chance to rock the world at the peak of their popularity, and it fell flatter than a cowpie run over by a John Deere.

The hit ballad was there – whether they knew it or not – with the albums third track “Hurricane.” It had everything you could ask for – grand vocals, epic structure, deep message, etc., etc… So why six MORE along the way? Maybe they aren’t the rock band I – and everyone else – thought they were.

If this is the true face of Theory of a Deadman, they will find an audience, without a doubt. They will see crowds full of Bic lighters swaying in the night, and couples embracing in slow dance, and steady rotation on VH-1. My heart tells me, however, that this was a dialed-down, softer effort put together for one reason and one reason only – to cash-in on the diluted, boring fan base that has become today’s modern rock crowd.

And that’s all fine and good, but for this reviewer the truth is, this isn’t a very good rock album, if it’s even rock at all…


01 – Lowlife
02 – Bitch Came Back
03 – Hurricane
04 – Out Of My Head
05 – Gentleman
06 – Love Is Hell
07 – The Truth Is… (I Lied About Everything)
08 – Head Above Water
09 – Drag Me To Hell
10 – What Was I Thinking
11 – Easy To Love You
12 – We Were Men
13 – Careless (Bonustrack)
14 – Does It Really Matter (Bonustrack)
15 – Villain (Bonustrack)
16 – Better Or Worse (Bonustrack)
17 – Out Of My Head (Acoustic) (Bonustrack)
18 – Easy To Love You (Acoustic) (Bonustrack)

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