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splendid > reviews > 10/4/2002
The Wallflowers
The Wallflowers
Red Letter Days
Interscope


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Closer To You"

Buy me now
Save for a few notable exceptions, by the time a band reaches their fourth album the focus is rarely on innovation. There may be a few tweaks here and there, but most of the time the effort is expended on keeping the group's core fan base happy. This is the stage at which the Wallflowers now find themselves. With three albums of rootsy rock behind them, it's pretty safe to assume that they aren't suddenly going to veer into Kid A territory.

Red Letter Days definitely bears out such an assumption, but it should also live up to everything Wallflower fans have come to expect from their favorite band, offering twelve tracks of fairly solid rock music. There are a few cosmetic elements in the mix -- the U2-ish guitar line on "Health and Happiness", the drum machine on opening track "When You're On Top", the surprising hardness of "Everybody Out Of the Water" -- but these are, as the word "cosmetic" implies, sheerly superficial. There's definitely nothing earth-shattering here...but there's nothing that's going to alienate the fanbase, either.



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