Album Review: Transit Of Venus by Three Days Grace

1. Sign Of The Times, 2. Chalk Outline, 3. The High Road, 4. Operate, 5. Anonymous, 6. Misery Loves My Company, 7. Give In To Me, 8. Happiness, 9. Give Me A Reason, 10. Time That Remains, 11. Expectations, 12. Broken Glass, 13. Unbreakable Heart

I still vividly remember the first time I heard this band. I was a 14 year old boy flipping through channels on a Saturday night. For a brief moment I landed on a music video on MTV before changing the channel; a second or two later I decided to flip back to it. Something about this band just caught my attention, and they’ve been my favorite band ever since. The music video, by the way, was for I Hate Everything About You, their first single.

Every three years since then (2003), they have released a new album (which if you ask me, is a really long time in between). Album one was good, album two is inarguably my favorite, and album three is pretty good. I’ve been waiting three long years, and unfortunately this new album is easily my least favorite of the four.

My interpretation of 3DG’s music has always been that it’s about being an outsider, isolated, hurt, and in pain. It’s about those kids who don’t fit here or there and are trying to navigate through life alone, lacking support and affection from others in the way. On the surface, some of their songs can be taken to be about romantic relationships but they actually go beyond that obvious interpretation. Depending on how you look at them, some songs deal about relationships, or lack thereof, with family, friends, and even one’s self.

This album, to no surprise, really continues on all of those themes. While album number two went into a dark place, album number three switched over to some more encouraging standpoints. This album is not quite as dark, but not quite as light either. So it’s not really a hybrid of the two perspectives, but instead it lands somewhere in between the two points. Kind of like the transit of Venus, where it lands in between the Earth and the Sun. Clever analogy, right?

The low points in this album are: Anonymous (which lacks content and substance), Happiness (which can easily be mistaken for another of their older songs, The Good Life, based on the intro but actually has a contrasting message), and Give Me A Reason (which lacks a sense of flow).

Onto the high points. Coincidentally one of them is The High Road, a dichotomous song about optimism and pessimism, about giving and receiving. On the one hand you want to and are trying to overcome your troubles, but you can’t quite do it alone and you depend on someone else to help you. Then we have Expectations, which has a really unique and unexpected tone and rhythm, as well as content. It’s a song that takes a progressive narrative approach, starting with the life of a young girl and the expectations of her to that of a young woman and the expectations she failed to live up to. It can generalize to anyone whose life didn’t turn out the way they thought or planned it would. Unbreakable Heart is an ideal ending to this album, as it ends on a positive note. The song is about being undefeated, by not allowing those around you to break you down and having the determination to come out on top.

Thoughts on the remaining songs:

  • Sign Of The Times: slow paced song about having a breakthrough of some sort, though not necessarily a good one.
  • Chalk Outline: hard hitting song about a lover doing you wrong and taking you for granted.
  • Operate: the negative effects that someone has on you, like a drug.
  • Misery Loves My Company: song title says it all, about being miserable and not wanting to take the comfort from others.
  • Give In To Me: after doing some reading, I found out that this one is a Michael Jackson cover.
  • Time That Remains: making the best of the amount of time you have left.
  • Broken Glass: analogy between the fragileness of glass to the delicateness in people.

The first time I listened to the album I was disappointed. I’ve heard it a few times now, and each time I like it more. However, no matter how much it grows on me I don’t think it will surpass album two or three in favorableness. Hopefully album five will arrive before 2015. Fingers crossed.

Album rating: 3/5.

Favorite Song: The High Road

“There’s times I stayed alive for you
There’s times I would have died for you
There’s times it didn’t matter at all

Will you help me find the right way up
Or let me take the wrong way down
Will you strain me out
Or make me take the long way around

I took the low road in
I’ll take the high road out
I’ll do whatever it takes
To be the mistake you can’t live without”

Least Favorite Song: Anonymous

Other Songs I Enjoyed: Misery Loves My Company, Give In To Me, Expectations, Unbreakable Heart

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