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.