This release by The Wallflowers is packed with well-written songs and solid musicianship and production. Thoughtful lyrics and solid melodies make the Wallflowers stand out. Some of these tunes are more bluesy or mellow/folk-influenced than others, while Jake Dylan's vocals are well suited to the varied songs and have a soulful quality that defines the band's sound. From the Bottom of My Heart is the most folk-influenced song, while Back To California is the most rock-oriented. The album begins with songs that have an upbeat feel, like Days of Wonder and the Passenger, while it becomes more wistful and bluesy with tracks like Confessions of a Drunken Marionette, God Says Nothing Back, and How Far You've Come, all pleasing rootsy rock tunes that should suit the tastes of existing Wallflowers fans. It's not that often I hear a rock album like this with song after song of soulful, poetic, and melodic tunes that are captivating enough for me to not feel like skipping tracks when I listen to the album.
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Jed Shlackman (JediShaman)
Wisdom seeker, healer, writer, counselor, music lover, metaphysical explorer
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As a testament to his own hard work ethic, Jacob Dylan has continued to record in spite of the lack of spotlight. With the release of his fifth disc,Rebel, Sweetheart, the singer/songwriter's dedication to the classic rock genre is again self-evident. Influences ranging from Springsteen's E Street Days ("God Says Nothing Back") to Tom Petty ("All Things New Again") ultimately reinforce Jacob's deep love of classic acoustic rock. The first single also happens to be one ofRebel, Sweetheart's strongest. "The Beautiful Side of Somewhere" is indicative of the younger Dylan's songwriting tendency to write with a darker pen; a tune begging the dark times to depart doesn't usually make for strong radio play, but the expansive musical swell at the track's end is one likely to bring new fans to the gates. The DualDisc version of the CD offers fans a 30 minute performance film, including reworked versions of "One Headlight" and "6th Avenue Heartbreak" as well as an amusing band interview with comedian Jon Lovitz.--Denise Sheppard