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In the six years since Scott Stapp's last solo release, the world has changed quite a bit. In the words of the Grammy-winning songwriter “change has come from every side,” and it's a change that is reflected on the inside and out. To call this album introspective would be an oversimplification. We're not talking an angst melancholic rant by a twenty-something idealist – this is full-blown King Lear raging at the sky catharsis from a man who has reached the heights of the rock world, battled personal demons and was lucky to come out the other side.

This is an album that could easily be top and tailed from the early angst and anger on the first few tracks, through to the uplifting ballad Ready To Love. Wake Up Call is stuck in the middle and is a turning point in the narrative and is a beautifully structured song. Stapp's vocals shift in accordance, his anger is palpable early on, but his vocals on the closer are almost transcendental as if he has finally lifted a weight. One of the most poignant tracks on the album is Gone Too Soon which was partly written about Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell: two men who sadly lost battles with their demons. The Purpose For Pain faces up to anger inside in the hope of seeing the clouds break. Name is another example of Stapp's brutal honesty as challenges the destruction of negative familial cycles and is equally candid about his own upbringing.

In The Space Between the Shadows is an album that is constructed to dig deep, get under your skin, destroy everything you believed in, before building you back up and allowing a phoenix-like rise from the ashes: in a similar way to the journey of Scott Stapp. This is ultimately a semi-autobiographical work, and it's one that stays with the listener as an empowering story of survival and overcoming adversity.

Groupie Rating 4/5

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