SPIRITUAL MACHINES II has been out at an NFT since October 2021 and since my brain has yet to wrap itself around the NFT world, I had to wait for the traditional release of the album on Friday.
It’s the 10th studio album by Our Lady Peace and the sequel to the 2000 release SPIRITUAL MACHINES.
For those not familiar with OLP or SPIRITUAL MACHINES, the 2000 release was inspired by the book THE AGE OF SPIRITUAL MACHINES by RAY KURZWEIL and Kurzweil’s follow up to the predictions he made in the book inspired SPIRITUAL MACHINES II.
OLP fans will also be quick to recognise a familiar face in the album artwork as it features SAUL FOX on the cover (last seen on SPIRITUAL MACHINES) and once again artist OLI GOLDSMITH provided the artwork just as he had for SPIRITUAL MACHINES.
OLP also has former co-founder and guitarist MIKE TURNER (aka EMTEE) returning as a guest on the album.
SPIRITUAL MACHINES is one of my favourite OLP albums so I was stoked when they announced there would be a sequel coming out. When you hear the word sequel, it can immediately bring a sense of “but is it going to be as good as the original”, but as a fan of OLP, I had zero doubt on how good the follow up to the 2000 album would be and listening to the albums back to back it’s as if they were both recorded in one session. The flow between the two albums that are 21 years apart is absolutely flawless. Something I really like about OLP, as I am often stretched to find a flaw in their artistic work. I really have to stretch myself to find something negative. They only continue to grow and get better with each album and over time.
RK1.Age of Spiritual Machines – spoken by Ray Kurzweil
Stop Making Stupid People Famous featuring Pussy Riot – the first single from the album. I didn’t immediately dig this song. It was an extremely upbeat tempo compared to what I was listening too when the song was released in June 2021, but damn it grew on me. The guitar riff is just so damn catchy and Raine is preaching to the choir of my mind. Stop making stupid people famous. Preach it sir. Preach it.
Holes – this is classic OLP sound. Lyrically, musically, sonically. Honestly, listening to SPIRITUAL MACHINES and SPIRITUAL MACHINES II back to back, this song would have fit on the 2000 release and the entire 2000 release could have fit on the 2021 release. It’s lyrically one of the songs I connected with. I understood and felt everything Raine was singing about.
RK2.Consciousness – spoken by Ray Kurzweil
The Message – the opening drums of this song is what does it for me. Then the rest of the instruments start and well, I am hooked and you know there’s a solid bass line it that just grasps and holds on my to bass loving heart. I also really love how Raine’s voice itself matches the beats. There are moments of bass in his voice and falsetto to match the high notes. His vocal talent really shines through here. I love this lyric, “She was a beautiful monster, like a rat in a maze…”
Wish You Well – according to the SPIRITUAL MACHINES II Wiki page, this song is the follow up to “Are You Sad” from SPIRITUAL MACHINES. Listening to the two songs back to back, I can see the connection between the too. It’s a nice upbeat follow up to its heartbreaking predecessor. Though my first initial thought (before knowing it was a follow up) was that it was a beautiful goodbye to a relationship that was ending.
RK3.UBI – spoken by Ray Kurzweil
Future Disease – the second single released in October 2021. While the song has a solid and infectious bass line, great harmonies, and a rocking guitar riff, this song is my least listened to song from the album. For me, it’s almost too radio friendly.
19 Days – Duncan Coutts just knows how to slap down a bass line. It’s one of my favourite things about OLP. The bass is always there. Sometimes quietly infectious like it is in this song and sometimes exisiting loudly like it is “The Message“. The bass is my favourite part of this song. So much it took me several listens to even notice the amazing guitar work by Steve Mazur, who is an underrated guitar player. Musically, this is might be my favourite track from the album. It show cases the reason I fell in love with Our Lady Peace’s music. Everything about this song fits together like a beautiful puzzle and each band member shines at what they do from vocals to drums to guitars to bass.
Run – Man, what a catchy song. From the opening hook to the chorus there is no wrong. I get a 70s funk vibe from this song. Sultry, sweaty, sexy and just damn fun.
RK4.Escape Velocity – spoken by Ray Kurzweil featuring EMTEE
Simulation – hello to Raine’s falsetto. His vocal range never fails to amaze me. Never. His vocals sound as fresh and clean as they did from when the band hit the music scene in 1992. This song showcases his range beautifully. It is also a damn catchy tune. It makes you want to get in a convertible, press the pedal to the metal, and drive off into the setting sun.
Good Die Young – if there was ever a song that gave me an impression of a dim smokey bar, swilling whiskey, and letting the world outside spin madly on, it’s this song. Good god, the bass in this song is down right hot. This is the song that plays as the lead or hero in the movie either wins the love (or dies in their arms) and their life flashes before the eyes.
RK5.Turing Test – spoken by Ray Kurzweil
Temporary Healing – I just love this song. The lyrics. The music. Raine’s vocal emotions.
FAVOURITE TRACK: It’s a tie between “19 Days” and “Temporary Healing”
MUST LISTEN TRACK: Tie between “Run” and “The Message”
RATING OUT OF 5 ROCK HANDS: 4 🤘🤘🤘🤘
Listen on Spotify below or Apple Music