In a world of overwhelming feelings and loneliness, especially in times of COVID, there is always music that can be there for us regardless if it’s newer or older. A major selling, early 2000s hard rock album titled “One-X” by Three Days Grace is still relevant today. The overall theme derived from “One-X” surrounds the inner turmoils that go on in our head and lives; things that may seem easy to walk away from but keep leeching onto us becoming a big weight on our shoulders.
This is especially evident in the track “Never too Late” where lead singer Adam Gontier sings “No one will ever see this side reflected and if there's something wrong who would have guessed it?” Statements like these help bring to light how bad someone’s battles can be. They also show that no one can really know what you’re going through on the inside, including but not limited to suicidal thoughts. Luckily in the same song Gontier fires back with a chorus of “Even if I say it'll be alright, still I hear you say you want to end your life. Now and again, we try to just stay alive. Maybe we'll turn it all around 'cause it's not too late. It's never too late.” Heavy lyrics like these remind us even in the deepest struggles, there’s always an opportunity to go on as it truly is never too late to turn things around. Especially in this time of quarantine and reduced fun. The guitar riffs and instrumentation aid in the heavy meaning with a lot of distorted effects and haunting acoustic sections. These appropriately go along with the sensitive topic and dark mood.
Another section of lyrics to mention lies within the song “Animal I Have Become” where we get to examine the relatable and twisted sides of ourselves. Lyrics such as “So what if you can see the darkest side of me? No one would ever change this animal I have become, and help me believe it's not the real me. Somebody help me tame this animal,” help elaborate on the primal instincts humans possess when encountering stressful situations. In this album cycle lead singer Gontier suffered deeply from drug addiction. His quest to get over it was poured deeply into the lyrics and instrumentation of the album. The lesson that is gathered from this is that one could be acting out but actually crying out for help instead. As a solution, we should reach out to help those in need or seek aid for ourselves if we’re in that predicament. There is no point in trying to tough things out if it means destroying ourselves in the process. This lesson is especially vital in a time of enough catastrophes being plastered all over social media and on the news.
To tie into this, the track “Pain” helps bring up that one is actually never alone in their struggles because we all suffer in some way. All humans have the power to help and make one another's life better. The lines that are most prominent within the song are in the beginning explaining: “You're sick of feeling numb. You're not the only one. I'll take you by the hand and I'll show you a world that you can understand.” This may seem like a brief line but the strong words speak louder than any long paragraph. What can be gathered from the words is it is difficult to remember how every one of us are fighting a constant war within our heads because we all get caught up in our own fights. But if we do what the song describes and support each other then life will become much easier to tolerate and live in.
What I believe speaks the strongest lies in the final self-titled track off of the album. The simple yet important meaning behind the song “One X” is that we are all strong and capable of great things. Things that we may not know of as presented in the lines “We are the ones. We get knocked down. We get back up and stand above the crowd. We are one” sung in the chorus and the song ending along with, “We stand above the crowd” being echoed and repeated for a dramatic effect along with a soothing guitar solo. By hearing such words repeated over and over again, one can really feel united with everyone around them which is how this country (and world) needs to be rather than dividing one another.
From indulging in this album, I think we can all learn to love, live better and tolerate one another more than before. We all share this planet together, riding this roller coaster of life and it would be so much better to face the challenges as teammates rather than opponents. In a time of division, we need unity not roadblocks to one another’s hearts.