14 Shades of Grey is the fourth studio album by American rock band Staind, released on May 20, 2003. The album continues to develop a post-grunge sound seen on the band's previous album Break the Cycle, though the songs on 14 Shades of Grey have fewer pop hooks, focusing more on frontman Aaron Lewis's emotions. It is the band's last album to be released from Elektra Records.
The album featured four singles and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 220,000 copies. By July 2003, 14 Shades of Grey had been certified gold then later platinum.
After finishing their tour schedule, Staind allowed Lewis and his wife to conceive their first child and settle for a few months. They then took about five weeks to write new songs before they began recording in Los Angeles. The band also spent a week developing the songs at producer Josh Abraham's house. Guitarist Mike Mushok noted it as the first time Staind has actually written in the studio.
In January 2003, Staind planned on a May 6 release date for their untitled fourth album. This date persisted into March during which an album title was announced. However, this would have to be delayed a few weeks.
Aaron Lewis elaborated on the lighter direction of 14 Shades of Grey:
Guitarist Mike Mushok described the album title in a 2003 interview:
The song "Layne" is a tribute to Layne Staley, late Alice in Chains singer. The song "Zoe Jane" honors Aaron Lewis' firstborn daughter. Some shots of Zoe Jane are featured in the video for So Far Away.
First editions of the album included a limited edition bonus DVD featuring home videos and footage of the band from their early years to the present, along with album lyrics and new band photos. For a time, fans could use the CD to download a bonus acoustic song "Let it Out" from the Staind website, but the page was later removed. The song was later included on the deluxe edition of the band's next album, Chapter V.
Staind supported 14 Shades of Grey with a series of in-store appearances followed by free club performances. They also performed with Label mates Cold during the summer of 2003. Concert setlists incorporated songs from all the band's albums including a few tracks from Tormented, Staind's lesser known record.
All lyrics written by Aaron Lewis; all music composed by Staind.
|1.||"Price to Play"||3:35|
|2.||"How About You"||3:57|
|3.||"So Far Away"||4:04|
|7.||"Fill Me Up"||4:24|
|12.||"Could It Be"||4:43|
|Japanese edition + Bonus track|
|15.||"Let It Out"||3:54|
Initial critical response ranged from mixed to average. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 41, based on 10 reviews.
The Golden Age of Grotesque by Marilyn Manson
|Billboard 200 number-one album
June 1, 2003 – June 7, 2003
How the West Was Won by Led Zeppelin
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