Wednesday, October 17, 2012
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: THE WALLFLOWERS - GLAD ALL OVER
There are several high-quality rockers here, one of those sneaky albums without big stand-out tracks, no One Headlight for instance, but numbers that have been growing on me each play. Constellation Blues drives along with a Springsteen storyline, a basic Joe, third generation gun-owning U.S. citizen, but someone with a secret. But The Wallflowers keep the mystery in it, letting it fade out with a big obvious ending; makes me wanna play it again. A trio of heartland numbers open the disc, all with a groove and hooks, guitar-and-organ the way rock bands used to be. At first listen, Reboot The Mission sounds a bit like a like a lark, with its punk reggae straight out of The Clash songbook. But then you find out that's completely on purpose, as Mick Jones guests on guitar and vocals, and the lyrics make mention of "the mighty Joe Strummer".
At the heart of it all are Dylan's lyrics, and the solo sojourn has done him well. Now back in the rock band field, you realize how rich the images and story lines are, and how much that adds to a band. While the music grows on you, you also get to take in the depth of the writing. Love Is A Country barely talks about love at all, describing the area he's in, all its pitfalls in the town and country, until he gets to the point of the metaphor: Love is a country better crossed when you're young. I.E., it's a tough journey. Ponder that one. Despite my reticence after a first listen, I'm now pretty convinced Dylan does belong in a band setting, and I think I'll be going back to this more than the acoustic albums over time.