“Smoke and Mirrors,” Lifehouse’s fifth album, debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart last month — the group’s highest bow ever.
Not bad for a project that underwent some major changes along the way.
“It kind of shifted halfway through,” explains frontman Jason Wade. “We came back into the studio with this live, organic energy and started making an almost Tom Pettyesque record, kind of stripped-down, plug-in and play kinds of songs.
“But then we realized that a big reason why we’re still around is because of songs that are more conducive to radio,” such as “Hanging By a Moment,” “You and Me,” “Spin.” Wade adds, “We shifted our focus and it became apparent the record had two different sides, split between the more polished, record-making side and that more organic stuff we started with. I think it’s a good mix.”
“Smoke and Mirrors” also finds Wade “more collaborative than I’ve ever been in the past” in terms of songwriting. He worked on the 12 tracks with manager and producer Jude Cole, Kevin Rudolf, Richard Marx and, on the track “Had Enough,” Chris Daughtry, Lifehouse’s current touring partner.
“I felt like I was at a place in my life where the tank was half-empty, so to speak,” Wade, 29, says. “So I reached out to friends like Chris, and he turned me on to Richard Marx and then I found other people ...
“A lot of the songs don’t feel like they’re from my perspective. They feel like stories of other people’s lives rather than autobiography, which felt good. I’ve always written from a deep, honest place about my relationships, so this time it felt good that it wasn’t bleeding all over the paper.”
Lifehouse performs with Daughtry and Cavo at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 10, at Joe Louis Arena, 600 Civic Center Drive, Detroit. Tickets are $29.50 and $39.50. Call 313-471-6606 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.
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