Alternative Rock

Our Lady Peace Happiness ... Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch

Imagine releasing an album that was so amazingly good, and yet none of your songs ever really hit the radio. That was Happiness. Our Lady Peace was at their verst best in the late 90s. They sacrificed the radio power of Superman's Dead and Clumsy for a concise, self-sufficient, well-written album.

Our Lady Peace Happiness ... Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch album cover
Happiness ... Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch


A hit single was not a fish that Our Lady Peace could catch on their third album. And that is a good thing.

Happiness is perhaps the single greatest album ever made that simultaneously has the least commercial viability. Nothing really hit the radio. And yet, Happiness is outstanding.

Bravo, Our Lady Peace.

Happiness ... Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch album cover

That guy is on the cover again!

Album Notes

One Man Army

I remember Raine hanging off the balcony at Lupo's in 2001 during One Many Army. One of the best OLP shows I've ever seen.

One Man Army was the first single off of the third album.

Our Lady Peace leads every album off with a great song. It's a fact, check the list. At least, the albums that matter.

  • Birdman (Naveed)
  • Superman's Dead (Clumsy)
  • One Man Army (Happiness ... Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch)
  • Right Behind You (Mafia) (Spiritual Machines)
  • All For You (Gravity)
  • Angels/Losing/Sleep (Healthy in Paranoid Times)

Happiness & The Fish

Ambient Mike Turner did so much for the apocalyptic nature of most of OLP's songs on Happiness and Spiritual Machines. Tremolo, feedback, delay were deployed with great effect.

Potato Girl

Great tune, Potato Girl is.

Piano and pulsing guitar works for me. Driving pre-chorus does too. Extended pre-chorus. Pull back on what's like a triple pre-chorus for "so tired of waking up on the ground" ... only to be followed by a great rock chorus.

One run through the verse and we already back at the second chorus. This is usually what happens when a band creates an amazing tune, but has no real second verse.


Powerhouse of a song. Raine's vocals are on point on Blister. Atmospheric guitar gets me everytime. Especially when it reverses into a stop. The layered vocals leave a jittery, uneasy feeling - especially the, "Don't trust me"

Is Anybody Home?

The second single. Is Anybody Home? is about the (now prescient) removal of human to human, in-person contact. OLP forecasted today's virtual climate in the late 90s. They weren't novel. They weren't even the first. But, they explained it an amazingly approachable way. Essentially, they added humanity to their explanation.


Oh I must be too dumb to be proud cause I waited waited!

A huge song. Perhaps the best single song on Happiness. I'm too dumb to be proud to even consider rock today music. Stuff is trash. Happiness was nearly the end of good rock. If it weren't for The Darkness, Coheed and Cambria, Bang Camaro, and others, the 2000s to 2020s wouldn't have been livable.


Great tune. Can't be said enough. Great tune.

Thief does rock slow song like none other. It's not a ballad. It's simply a story. It's the type of song that got produced in the 90s. It didn't need to fit a mold. It just needed to exist.

Lying Awake

Good rock groove from Duncan Coutts. People give Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine a lot of credit for carrying a band with noise-as-music, but Mike Turner should really be honored along with him. And, it's never been more on display than Lying Awake on OLP's third album.


A lot of later OLP albums live in the verse of Annie without the coolness of it. They live in pop rock, without the authenticity. Turner could really run a rising bend to its full effect.

Consequence of Laughing

Big bass groove here from Coutts. Has a Naveed feel to it. Consequence of Laughing could have been on Naveed, but it would have had more acoustic guitar, more tripy, arpeggiated notes. It would not have been a compact rock tune like it is on Happiness. I dig what was created here more.

Raine vox wildness.

Stealing Babies

Big minor verse into a powerful, anthemic chorus. Only to be followed by a semi-piano-accompanied post chorus? Daring. I applaud their choice here on this album ender.

The breakdown is such an interesting choice. A lot of bands couldn't have gotten away with this as their album closer. A lot of bands couldn't have taken so many chances without producing a major hit single. A lot of bands weren't Canadian.

I'm fairly convinced that OLP mixed a balance of authenticity and Candian(ism?) to make Happiness happen.

I believe Stealing Babies is about a young girl who has (had) AIDS and fights the best fight.

More Happiness ... Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch Details

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