Lifehouse just seems to hang around in my life. Maybe it is because my wife played the No Name Face album to death at home and in the car when it came out in 2000. While the lead-off single Hanging By A Moment had the traction, it was cuts like Cling and Clatter, Quasimodo and Everything that hooked me in. I especially enjoyed the song Everything and its movement from an acoustic introspective song into a Stairway To Heaven big finish.
No Name Face was the pinnacle. Stanley Climbfall and the self titled album didn’t even come close. I was starting to lose interest and to my surprise so was my wife. Who We Are in 2007 got my attention with the sorrowful Storm, the soul searching rock of Disarray and the Johnny Cash vibe of Broken . Then in 2010, came Smoke and Mirrors. Tracks 1 to 8 are top notch. They should have stopped the album right there. It would have been perfection. The most recent album Almeria has the song Moveonday, which reminds me of When The Levee Breaks from Led Zeppelin. The rest however pales compared to No Name Face and Smoke and Mirrors.
All In is a great song from the Smoke and Mirrors album released in 2010.
It’s a Jason Wade and Jude Cole composition. The soft first fret capo’d strumming in the intro is all an illusion to the rock song that lay in waiting. The chords that are played are F, C, G and Am, with a capo on the first fret.
The chords then change to C, F, Am – G and F for the verse and the chorus. This is a part of Lifehouse I like a lot. They use the same chords for the verse and for the chorus and they change the vocal melody. This is the extreme opposite to say Dream Theater, who will have a verse riff that is unique and a chorus riff that is unique.
And I’m all in
Nothing left to hide
I’m all in
I’m all in for life
It’s those moments in time when you realise, yeah, I am in love, so let’s do this. My father always said to me that you marry for life. In 2013 my wife and I are going to celebrate 15 years of marriage with our three kids. It’s been a ride. There have been highs and there have been lows. However, I am all in for life.
There’s no taking back what we’ve got
It’s too strong we’ve had each other’s back for too long
There’s no breaking up this time
When I come across people that tell me they never argue and that everything is perfect, I just smile and reply that they are so lucky. However I am thinking that at least one person in the relationship is not telling the truth. Eventually they implode. It could have been a secret gambling addiction, not being truthful about money and so on. There have been times in our relationship were it is easier to just walk away, however we have had each other’s backs for so long, walking away was never an option that came in our minds.
It’s the best song on Smoke and Mirrors.
Falling In would not be out of place on a Daughtry album. It’s the laid back feel that hooks me in. It’s a Jason Wade, Jude Cole, Jacob Kasher Hindlin and Kevin Rudolf composition.
Outside writers can bring a lot to the table, however they can also make the song very formulaic. Kevin Rudolf is known to be the “King Of The Cross Genre”. His resume is diverse, involving song writing credits with Timbaland, Cobra Starship, My Darkest Days, Lil Wayne, Natasha Bedingfield, Flo Ride and so on. As I mentioned earlier, the overall sound of the song would not be out of place on a Daughtry album. I am hearing the pop formula at work.
This is another song where the verse riff and chorus riff use the same chords. In this case they are G, D, Em and C. The vocal melody is designed to carry the song and it does a marvellous job at it.
Every time I see your face
My heart takes off on a high speed chase
Now don’t be scared, it’s only love
Baby that we’re falling in
It’s that moment when you commit. You don’t know what the outcome is going to be, you just know at that point in time there is nothing else you want except the love.
Smoke And Mirrors
It’s the Tom Petty and REM influence that hooks me in. It’s another Jason Wade and Jude Cole composition. The Intro of Em, G and D times 3 is the familiar Chorus progression. This ends with a dissonant Eb6 sus4 chord and then a C/G chord.
The verses move from C to D times 3 and it ends with the same dissonant Eb6 sus4 chord and then a C/G chord.
Now the days roll hard and the nights move fast
They say be careful what you wish
But having everything means nothing to me now
What we had is everything to miss
All the riches we have, we cannot take to the grave. All that will be left is the memories. That is the legacy we leave behind. If people talk about their experiences and the moments they had with you, that is a legacy. No one is going to remember if you had millions or billions in your bank account. This whole song is about striving to be someone you are not, and then when you get those riches, you realise that it really meant nothing to you. The real smiles, the romance, the good and the bad of a relationship are the things that really mattered.
Gonna drive all night ’til we disappear
Chasing down the miles so far from here
As the smoke and mirrors start to fade away
And we’re all we’ve got so let’s hold on tight
When the masquerade is over and all the crowds are gone you are either all alone or you still have your loved one hanging in. Strange as it is, this song reminds me of the Savatage song, When The Crowds Are Gone from the Gutter Ballet album, released in 1987. The message of the song is about a person who is sitting on the empty stage, reflecting on all the unfinished dreams and trying to remember those memories that seem to slip away like faded photographs. Throughout his or her life, they conformed to win over the masses and then when the masses then went on to something else, what is left?
The story’s over, when the crowds are gone
You need to have that other life, that place of sanity, that when the crowds disappear and all the money disappears, you still have that love. When one story ends, the other story still continues.
This is the beauty of music were a song from a different genre brings back a memory of another song that is 26 years old.
When the crowds are gone
And I’m all alone
Playing a final song
For any artist or an actor, that is the way it will end. The crowds and the riches will not be around forever. Look at Johnny Cash, who in his last days was recording his music from a hospital bed, without the crowds and the riches. He just had his family.
Had Enough is an interesting song. First it is written by Jason Wade, Chris Daughtry and Richard Marx. What a combination of Top 10 writers. It also features Chris Daughtry. Furthermore, Bon Jovi has been trying to write a song like this for years, however he just never nailed. Just Older from the Crush album is probably the closest Bon Jovi got.
The intro and verse are built around an Am, F, C and G progression, moving to a Dm and F progression just before the chorus. The chorus is built around a C, F, Am and F progression. I like the movement from the minor key sadness in the verses to the major key “hope” and it’s time to move on mantra in the Chorus.
Loneliness facing up and down these hallways
Second guessing every thought
Mystified, just spinning ’round in circles
Drowning in the silent screaming with nothing left to say
You know the feeling of suffering in silence trying to make things work, but really doing nothing special to make it work.
Every time I reach for you, there’s no one there to hold on to
Nothing left for me to miss, I’m letting go, letting go of this
Lost my mind thinking it through, the light inside has left me too
Now I know what empty is, I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough of this
The part in the relationship where you know that the other side has checked out emotionally and lovingly, however they are still around physically because both sides cannot find the strength and the effort to call full time.
From Where You Are is a Jason Wade composition. According to Wikipedia the song is dedicated to the teens who have lost their lives in car accidents.
The intro and verse is a F, Am and G progression, while the Chorus moves to a Am, F, Am, G progression. The song moves from a major key in the verses to a minor key in the Chorus.
I miss the years that were erased
I miss the way the sunshine would light up your face
I miss all the little things
I never thought that they’d mean everything to me
In the end, no one is going to miss the wealth or the fame. We will miss all those little things that at first glance we didn’t see as important.
It Is What It Is
It’s another Jason Wade and Jude Cole composition.
Play the Capo on the 4th fret and the intro/verse progression is Em | C | G-D | G-D. The Chorus progression is G | D | Em | C and the Bridge progression is C | D | Em | Am.
It is what it is
I was only looking for a shortcut home
But it’s complicated
It’s hard trying to keep a relationship going. There are no shortcuts and its very complicated. So many strings are attached to it. Sometimes in those times of doubt it is better to be without each other. Love is complicated. More complicated than we think.
If the time could turn us around
What once was lost may be found
For you and me, for you and me
Time moves on. Once it is gone, we cannot get it back. To use a plate analogy for love, once the plate is broken, it doesn’t matter how the plate is glued back together, it is never the same.
It’s another Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Jude Cole, Kevin Rudolf and Jason Wade composition. It has that Stairway To Heaven feel at the beginning that hooks me in. In this case the song begins in Bm instead of Am. I also love the bluesy feel of the lead.
New circus freak
With black eyes that speak
Life takes it’s toll
You push and it pulls
You’re losing control
The mask that we wear makes us look like circus freaks. Even though this song is about a relationship, I take a different meaning from this verse.
I see the lines “New circus freak with black eyes that speak,” is the aftermath of the violence. The person is so battered and so bruised, they look like a circus freak. The black eyes is the result of the violence.
The lines, “Life takes its toll, you push and it pulls, you’re losing control,” is the result of the bed the person made for themselves. There is an old saying, “you live and die by the life you lead.” In this instance, the person is losing control of their life as the situation they are in takes its toll.
Meltdown’s looking for a new clown
Living in a world that’s make believe
Used up burned out always got a hand out
Ain’t nothing here for free
Now you’re hanging on the edge of tomorrow
Let go let it be
This is what happens when you play a game of being someone you are not. You end up used, burned up and hanging by a thread to this thing called life. The meltdown is like the machine of life, always looking for new souls to keep it running. In the end, nothing is for free. We all end up paying the price for something we have done.
Hell bent looking for a god send
Kicking down the door waiting for a sign
Right side turning on the bright side
That might not be what you find
Wake up move on nothing left to prove
Got nightmares in your dreams
This last verse is about restoration. Get out of the make believe nightmare you created and move on. Let that past life be a nightmare in your dreams from this point forward. Don’t let it drag you down anymore.
Halfway Gone is a Jason Wade, Jude Cole, Kevin Rudolf and Jacob Kasher composition. It is using the same chords as Had Enough, which are Am, F, C and G with a capo on the 4th fret.
You were always hard to hold
So letting go ain’t easy
I’m hanging on but growing cold
While my mind is leaving
You know that it is over in your head, but you haven’t called it quits in the physical realm.
Cause you’re halfway in but don’t take too long
Cause I’m halfway gone, I’m halfway gone
The contradiction. One is halfway in, while one is halfway gone.