Tomorrow marks the one month anniversary since 16-year-old Springfield Massachusetts trio Staind's new, self-titled album was released. I've listened to it in its entirety, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

Staind has produced a hard and heavy seventh studio album that immediately grabs your attention with its opening track "Eyes Wide Open," and the catchy, melodic tunes carry throughout the entire album. Aaron Lewis's voice is fresh and powerful (especially in "Something to Remind Me"), and sings simply-titled songs with simple lyrics that are intertwined with metaphorical meaning here and there, such as in "Paper Wings." Each song has its own title in the lyrics, which always makes it easy to identify, and each could easily stand alone, with supporting instrumentals, back-ups and solos, along with Aaron's consistent, but differing tempos and ranges in voice. Each track, such as single "Not Again," comes out as its own, but yet all ten are connected through persistent sound and coinciding style.

The symbolism behind Staind appropriately self-titling this album (it was originally going to be titled Seven) is very apparent. In any band, it means a sense of self-definition and identity, and represents who that band really is. This is very true of Staind, as their drummer of 16 years, Jon Wysocki, left the band in May. Despite being down a member, the band still came together and delivered an astonishing work of musical art that proves the band, much like their songs, can "staind" alone. Staind was completely right making this their "it" album, and hopefully this is who they truly are.

I give this album four guitars!