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10:22 AM on 10/09/12
#2
Craig Manning
Down in Jungleland
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Really enjoyed the review, Craig.

I think the switch from Brendan O'Brien to Jay Joyce was a huge plus for them. As you covered it, this album sonically, is a lot looser/more adventurous. The Mick Jones songs are killers.

I think the classic rock styles albums that O'Brien produced from 2005-2009, "Red Letter Days"/"Magic"/"Working on a Dream"/"All the Stars and Boulevards", all sound interchangeable with the exception of the vocalists.
Thanks!

I had actually completely forgotten that O'Brien produced Rebel, Sweetheart (not Red Letter Days) until I was looking up who did the job on this album. I actually love the way that record songs, but O'Brien definitely would not have been the right choice for these songs.

They definitely all have similar sensibilities, but I think I like all of them (with the exception of Working on a Dream) too much to call them interchangeable. O'Brien is very hit-or-miss for me as a producer. I'm blown away by how he made Gaslight sound, but I never really liked what he did with the E-Street Band. If the songs are good, it doesn't really matter that much to me, but he's certainly not my favorite producer.

As far as The Wallflowers are concerned, I like what Jay Joyce did here, but I still wish they would work with T. Bone Burnett again.
02:41 PM on 10/09/12
#3
Craig Manning
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Wow can't believe I goofed on that. Long day. Rebel, Sweetheart.

It is funny, O'Brien is one of my all-time favorite producers but for whatever reason, those albums I mentioned seem to have the same canned, sterile sound. Perhaps too many over-dubs. The only clear stinker there was Working on a Dream, due to the horrendous collection of songs. I was painting with a very broad brush as all of the albums don't sound note for note identical, but I think "The Passenger" ,"Here He Comes", or "I am a Building" sound very similar to the sonic palettes used on those period Springsteen albums ("My Lucky Day", "Living in the Future", "I'll Work for You Love).

I concur that what he did with Gaslight was fantastic. His best work may be the Bravery's second album as he turned what I think is a band with a very gimmicky sound into a really formidable rock record. Obviously, they hated it.

A T-Bone Burnett/Wallflowers reunion would be incredible.
O'Brien just makes the E-Street Band sound all compressed and shrinkwrapped, haha. I can definitely see what you mean on those three songs though, so maybe that's why they've always been three of my least favorites from that album, haha
06:54 PM on 10/09/12
#4
Craig Manning
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Wow can't believe I goofed on that. Long day. Rebel, Sweetheart.

It is funny, O'Brien is one of my all-time favorite producers but for whatever reason, those albums I mentioned seem to have the same canned, sterile sound. Perhaps too many over-dubs. The only clear stinker there was Working on a Dream, due to the horrendous collection of songs. I was painting with a very broad brush as all of the albums don't sound note for note identical, but I think "The Passenger" ,"Here He Comes", or "I am a Building" sound very similar to the sonic palettes used on those period Springsteen albums ("My Lucky Day", "Living in the Future", "I'll Work for You Love).

I concur that what he did with Gaslight was fantastic. His best work may be the Bravery's second album as he turned what I think is a band with a very gimmicky sound into a really formidable rock record. Obviously, they hated it.

A T-Bone Burnett/Wallflowers reunion would be incredible.
Also, listening through Rebel right now, the acoustic stuff (particularly "God Says Nothing Back" and "From the Bottom of My Heart") sounds fucking fantastic. Maybe O'Brien missed his calling. haha
07:57 AM on 10/10/12
#5
Craig Manning
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Totally agree! Those songs sound expansive.
Everything just sounds so crisp and perfect. And it's not at all compressed, which is awesome. It's songs like those ones that I actually wish Glad All Over had a bit more of. I know Jakob Dylan probably got a lot of that kind of songwriting out of the way on his solo material and wanted to do an album of the louder, more "fun" stuff, but I have always loved the way this band sounded on ballads, and I never got that same feeling from Jakob's solo stuff.
09:00 AM on 10/13/12
#6
Craig Manning
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Glad this got a review here. Good review. Really like this album.
Thanks. There was actually a surprising amount of interest for writing this review, haha. I only wish that interest had been further reflected by our readership here, but alas, it seems as if most people have forgotten about these guys.
03:30 PM on 10/15/12
#7
Craig Manning
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I honestly did not expect to find a review of The Wallflowers here at absolutepunk. I'm glad I have. I, too, am a guy who...well, Craig, your review summed up pretty much everything I've ever experienced with The Wallflowers. Also, thanks for saying good things about Rebel, Sweetheart. That album received so much flack when it was released and I always thought it was completely unwarranted--it's so good!

Anyway. I've been really, really reluctant to check out this new record because the samples I've heard are so vastly different from what I know and love from this band. This review has slightly helped ease my mind. I'm still really hesitant to approach it, though.
I can't even recall the kind of critical reception Rebel, Sweetheart got, though I'm fairly sure I never cared much about that. I just remember being 14 years old and hearing "Days of Wonder" for the first time as the spring was starting to turn to summer. Nothing else ever mattered.

As for this one, like I said, it's not their best, and I'm still not so sure that the Clash influence works, but there is enough classic Wallflowers sound here to make it worthwhile. Don't fret, I'm sure you'll find something you enjoy.

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