Home Read Classic Album Review: Lifehouse | No Name Face

Classic Album Review: Lifehouse | No Name Face

The West Coast rockers serve up emotional punch but hold the sentimental cheese.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


The toughest line to walk in rock is the tightrope of earnestness. One step to the right and you’re into hackneyed Hootieism; one step to the left and it’s Pearl Jammy pretension. L.A.-via-Portland quartet Lifehouse manage to strike a graceful balance on this intriguing debut album.

Driven by the Scott Weiland-meets-Eddie Vedder pipes and troubadourish tunes of singer-songwriter Jason Wade, sweetened with orchestral strings and moody arrangements, No Name Face’s dozen tracks pack emotional punch and melodic depth in equal amounts, without resorting to cheeseball sentiment or save-the-whales idealism. “I don’t have all the answers, ain’t gonna pretend like I do,” says Wade on the delicate ballad Trying. Nice to see a musician owning up to it for a change.