“Creed burst out of Florida with 1997’s My Own Prison, a dark but commercial debut reminiscent of the early-‘90s Seattle sound. Creed’s moody guitar grunge and ardent lyrics, coupled with singer Scott Stapp’s passionate vocals, helped My Own Prison sell millions.” KT Human Clay proved even more successful, debuting at #1 in the U.S. and selling 17 million copies worldwide.
The first single, Higher, “is typical Creed – safe, emotive guitar rock for the masses, but with a slight edge.” KT It spent a then-record 17 weeks atop the album rock tracks chart. The third single, With Arms Wide Open, reached even higher, going all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, a rare occurrence for a rock band at a time when boy bands ruled the charts.
The group didn’t mess with the success of their first album, turning out a “a sophomore outing rife with evocative moodiness, soaring guitars, and a dark, roiling, intense vibe.” KT “Nobody could figure out why this group managed to not just survive, but thrive…After all, at the time, not only were post-grunge bands dying, but so were such grunge heavyweights as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell.” STE
When one listens to the album, though, “a realization sets in: Unlike their influences – from Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains to Stone Temple Pilots – Creed is happy to be a rock band.” STE “Their music may not be particularly joyous and they may even favor foreboding, heavy riffs, but they’re not trying to stretch into political causes or worldbeat like Pearl Jam; they’re not reveling in dark psychedelia like Soundgarden; nor are they attempting a glam Abbey Road like Stone Temple Pilots.” STE This “a straightforward grunge and hard rock band, embracing everything that goes along with that.” STE “They might not have as strong an identity as their forefathers, but they’re not faceless.” STE It makes “Human Clay at once compelling and effectively redundant.” KT
- one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame/NARM’s Definitive Albums
- one of the top 100 albums of the 1990s
Resources and Related Links:
- Creed’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
- the DMDB page for Human Clay
- STE Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
- KT Katherine Turman, Amazon.com