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09:39 AM on 10/09/12
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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.
12:38 PM on 10/09/12
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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.
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.
07:36 AM on 10/10/12
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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
Totally agree! Those songs sound expansive.

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