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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Bright light gone for Wallflowers

By Randalynne Dorsey/entertainment editor

   I don’t know how an album with so many good things going for it could come out so … bad.
   It’s Rebel, Sweetheart, the Wallflowers’ fifth album produced by Brendan O’Brien, who also produced albums for Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen.
   Jakob Dylan, the vocalist for the Wallflowers, described the album on the band’s Web site.
   “ The bright light had been removed from us for a little while, and somehow the music felt pure again,” he said.
   Unfortunately, he’s wrong; the bright light is still gone.
   The songs seem to follow a formula. Write a few good lines about one of four things: God, time, love and death.
   Oddly enough, Dylan has said, “Everything worth thinking about is somehow wrapped up in those four topics.”
   Throw in a bit of bass and keyboards, a little vocalization, and you get the basic gist of Rebel, Sweetheart.
   The album does have a few good songs. “From The Bottom of My Heart” is sung against lilting chords of a guitar, making Dylan’s voice seem more strained, and the listener can almost hear the tears in his voice.
   Dylan’s voice alone redeems the band greatly. Aside from “From the Bottom of My Heart,” he shines in the folky beats of “Nearly Beloved” and “All Things New Again.”
   What annoys me is the band’s continually calling itself “rock and roll.” It’s not. Honestly, the members are nothing more than a glorified imitation of Jackson Browne. And as much as I love Jackson Browne, they’re a poor facsimile.
   I’m not a big fan of songs that beg for analysis and last more than three minutes. If a band can’t get its point across without singing the chorus three times, it’s not a good sign.
These songs first seem to have happy titles, such as “Days of Wonder.” But as one listens to the song, the word wonder takes on new meaning, one that means doubt rather than awe.
   Perhaps another thing that did not seem to work in the band’s favor is where the album was recorded. Past Wallflowers’ albums have been recorded in Los Angeles, and look how well those turned out. (For those unfamiliar with the Wallflowers, those albums were all hits.) But this time, the album was recorded in Atlanta, Ga.
   “ Recording close to home means that we’re all juggling our work and our personal lives,” Dylan said.
   But juggling seemed to have worked in the past.
   Don’t waste money buying the album. Just go to iTunes and download “From the Bottom of My Heart,” the only good thing on the album and the only song worth buying from the Wallflowers.

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