Lifehouse releases its fourth studio album ‘Who We Are’

Kollin Jordan

From the band that brought you the perennial smash singles “Hanging by a Moment” and “You and Me” comes “Who We Are,” the fourth studio album of the ubiquitous Lifehouse.

Lead vocalist and guitar player Jason Wade promised that “Who We Are” rocked out a bit more than their introspective and acoustic-oriented self-titled effort. The band came through on that guarantee with classic gut-plucking guitar sounds on cranked-up amps, throwing in some piano this time around and beefing up the vocals with deeply layered harmonics. Deeply moving poetic lyrics have proven before that Lifehouse is made of sturdy stuff. “Who We Are” reaffirms this image with a slew of brilliantly written songs.

“First Time” is the first single released from the album and it has relentlessly demanded radio play ever since it assaulted the airwaves. The track’s been spinning on the Billboard Top 100 for 18 weeks and still refuses to give up its berth on the charts. Uptempo, upbeat, “First Time” releases the kind of unbridled passion akin to the band’s “Hanging by a Moment” days, guitars twanging spiritedly while supplementing soaring vocals.

“Easier to Be” pulls back the reins a bit, delving into a content, reflective mood expressed through softly crooning vocals, light ambient synthesizers and relaxed guitar harmonies. Melancholy and hope play tug-of-war in “Broken,” the slow and ponderous piano chords shade subtly uplifting strains of a string symphony.

“The Joke” completely switches gears, featuring harsh guitar, eerily admonitive lyrics and staccato piano that keep an urgent pace with an almost raucous sound. One of the most powerful ballads on the album, “Whatever It Takes” is a pleading cry from a heart that refuses to call it quits: “I’ll do whatever it takes to turn this around/And if you give me a chance, believe that I can change/I’ll keep us together whatever it takes.”

The final track of “Who We Are” follows the same trajectory. “Storm” has all the internal turmoil of its title: suppressed, seething under, laced with yearning for a remembered place lost in the darkness, with hope of finding that submerged light again.

Lifehouse frontman Jason Wade has always taken pride in the band’s originality, and they still refuse to compromise. “Who We Are” has a smattering of many different sounds, all of them somehow traceable back to their uniquely Lifehouse roots. Tantalize your eardrums, take a chance and grab a copy – you just might be blown away.