The Illusion of Progress

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The Illusion of Progress
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 19, 2008
  • Home Studio of frontman Aaron Lewis at The Barn, Massachusetts
  • Mardi Gras Studios, Massachusetts
  • Groovemaster Studios, Illinois
GenrePost-grunge, alternative rock, hard rock
LabelFlip, Atlantic, Roadrunner
ProducerJohnny K, Staind
Staind chronology
The Singles: 1996–2006
The Illusion of Progress
Singles from The Illusion of Progress
  1. "Believe"
    Released: June 24, 2008
  2. "All I Want"
    Released: November 24, 2008
  3. "The Way I Am"
    Released: January 26, 2009
  4. "This Is It"
    Released: May 4, 2009
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]
The Boston Globe(favorable)[4]
Los Angeles Times2/4 stars[5]
Q2/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone2.5/5 stars[6]
TuneLab Music7.5/10 stars[7]

The Illusion of Progress is the sixth studio album by American rock band Staind. It was released on August 19, 2008. The Illusion of Progress was produced by Johnny K and recorded in lead singer Aaron Lewis' home studio. It debuted at No. 3 in the Billboard 200 with 91,800 units sold.

The lead single was "Believe", topping the Alternative Songs chart on September 13, 2008. It accumulated three weeks at number one.

The second single was "All I Want", came out on November 24. The video continued the story of the first single video and was available on Staind's Myspace on December 12. In Europe the second single was "The Way I Am", and its video was available on the Official Staind Website as of December 24. "This Is It" has been released as the last single off the album. The album has sold over 500,000 units in the United States alone.

Lewis recorded a country version of the album’s ninth track "Tangled Up in You" on his 2011 solo EP Town Line.


Lewis commented, "We went into the studio with the mindset of making our heaviest record yet, but the record that came out has flavors of Pink Floyd and straight-up blues. We didn't use the same rigs that we use onstage; we used all vintage guitars and amps, and I'm pretty psyched about it. The songs are pretty timeless in their texture." The band calls the new project the "most musical CD" they've recorded to date.[8]


To promote the album, Staind treated their fans to a series of intimate, behind-the-scenes "webisodes" posted on, documenting their recording process. Staind also premiered the song "Believe" worldwide on U.S. station KYSR in Los Angeles. Staind also released the song, "This Is It", on iTunes early as a single. "This Is It" was released as a downloadable track for the video game Rock Band on July 29 for the Xbox 360 and July 31 for PlayStation 3.[9] "This Is It" was also featured on the soundtrack for the 2009 film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.


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 53, based on 8 reviews.[1]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Aaron Lewis; all music written & composed by Staind.

1."This Is It"3:43
2."The Way I Am"4:18
4."Save Me"4:52
5."All I Want"3:30
6."Pardon Me"5:02
7."Lost Along the Way"4:20
8."Break Away"4:10
9."Tangled Up in You"4:35
10."Raining Again"3:53
11."Rainy Day Parade"4:17
12."The Corner"5:17
13."Nothing Left to Say"4:40
Total length:56:54
Deluxe edition
14."It's Been Awhile" (live at the Hiro Ballroom)4:49
15."Devil" (live at the Hiro Ballroom)5:18
16."Schizophrenic Conversations" (live at the Hiro Ballroom)4:46
Japan edition + iTunes deluxe edition
14."The Truth"4:42
15."Something Like Me" (iTunes pre-order exclusive)4:52
  • Note: The Japanese edition of The Illusion of Progress lists the two bonus tracks "Something Like Me" and "The Truth" as both recorded live at the Hiro Ballroom. This is incorrect. They are actually the studio versions recorded during the Chapter V album sessions.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Position
Billboard 200 3
Top Modern/Alternative Rock Albums Chart 2
Top Internet Albums Chart 1
Top Digital Albums Chart 1
Canada 16
UK 73[10]


Credits taken from album’s liner notes.[11]


  • Aaron Lewis – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Mike Mushok – lead guitar
  • Johnny April – bass, backing vocals
  • Jon Wysocki – drums

Additional Musicians[edit]

  • John Pirruccello – pedal steel guitar (tracks 9 & 12)
  • Johnny K – piano (track 4), Hammond Organ (tracks 9 & 12)
  • Rick Barnes – slide guitar (track 9)
  • Stevie Blacke – orchestration (track 9)
  • Vernard Burton, Emoni Wilkins, Sharlisa Brooks, Zita Smith, Lajuanese Robertson, and Carya Holmes-Brown - additional vocals (track 12)


  • Johnny K - Producer and Engineer
  • Tony "Tadpole" Mysliwiec - Digital Editing
  • Justin Wilk - Additional Editing
  • Jeff Gilmer - Assistant Engineer
  • Ryan Williams - Mixing
  • Ted Jensen - Mastering



  1. ^ a b c "Staind:The Illusion Of Progress (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. The Illusion of Progress at AllMusic. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  3. ^ Graff, Gary. "The Illusion of Progress". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 19, 2008. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  4. ^ Morse, Steve (August 19, 2008). "That's no illusion - it's real progress". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  5. ^ Appleford, Steve (August 19, 2008). "New CDs: Staind, Amy Macdonald". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  6. ^ Rosen, Jody (August 21, 2008). "Staind: The Illusion Of Progress: Music review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  7. ^ "Review: Staind – 'The Illuison Of Progress'". TuneLab Music. August 12, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  8. ^ "STAIND /// The Official Site". Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  9. ^ "DLC Week of July 29th Scars on Broadway, Staind, Testamen , The New No 2 – Rock Band – Forums". Archived from the original on July 28, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2008.
  10. ^ "Official Album Chart for the week ending 20 September 2008". ChartsPlus. Milton Keynes: IQ Ware Ltd (369): 5–8.
  11. ^ The Illusion of Progress (booklet). Flip, Atlantic, Roadrunner. 2008.

External links[edit]