The Wallflowers – Glad All Over

The Wallflowers

The Wallflowers – Glad All Over
Columbia
October 12, 2012

Jakob Dylan started The Wallflowers as the young age of 23.

Now he’s 43.  But he doesn’t want to tone it down.  Not at all.  He and the boys bring us their strongest effort to date since 2000’s (Breach).  Their last record was seven years ago, and the break must have done them good.  2002’s Red Letter Days and 2005’s Rebel, Sweetheart were decent albums, but failed to leave any lasting impression.  Get ready to be Glad All Over – it’s gonna stick with you.

Hospital For Sinners kicks us off with a subdued, heavy (by The Wallflower’s standards) southern rocker that really sounds like nothing out of their back catalog.  Misfits And Lovers takes aim at those girls who were twenty-one back in the No Headlights days of 1996 – drinking their beers and singing along.  Those girls are now mothers at thirty-eight, dancing along to this track with (hopefully) their husbands while the nanny watches the kids at home, singing, “It’s not the hustle or the high that doesn’t last / The dead leaves or the cheap romance / It’s not the pills or the punches they pack / It’s the magic that brings us back.”

First One In The Car has to be my favorite track.  Jakob is a wonderful lyrical painter.  Can I indulge for a minute?

I see the neck of the driver behind the wheel
You’re looking at me in the side view mirror
You’re changing your clothes
In the backseat you slip
From a girl
To a woman
In less than a minute

As we roll from the city under the stars 
And go on down the boulevard
Say may God be the first one in the car
May he be the last one out of ours

Overall, lot’s of new stuff here from Bob Dylan’s son and his band.  First single Reboot The Mission has a bass line straight out of a 70s funk anthem.  Who knew these guys even owned dancing shoes?  Love Is A Country sounds like every other Wallflowers song you’ve ever heard – only better, musically and (absolutely) lyrically.  I’ll consider that part of the “new stuff” as well.  I also can’t deny that I love the lack of ballads on this album – the last couple albums were overrun with them.  It’s good to hear these guys turn the volume up.

Have Mercy On Him Now is powerful enough to make you get up and go to church next Sunday.  It’d probably be a good idea.

7.5/10

If you had to listen to two tracks:  First One In The Car / Love Is A Country

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