Every once in a while, there’s an album that, instead of reinventing the wheel, goes back to the basics and charms listeners with the sound of the last century. Glad All Over by The Wallflowers is one such album.
Emphasis on melody and infectious hooks has always been the Grammy-winning band’s USP. And as the saying goes, ‘don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.’ Subscribing to this philosophy, front man Jakob Dylan — who, in case you don’t know, is the son of the legendary Bob Dylan — and band mates have created music that will definitely leave you ‘glad all over. The addition of ex-Pearl Jam drummer Jack Irons is definitely welcome as his style suits The Wallflowers perfectly. From the pulsating opener ‘Hospital for Sinners’ to the punk-rock influenced ‘Reboot the mission’, which features the legendary Mick Jones of The Clash, to the sombre final track ‘One Set of Wings’, the album is classic Wallflowers all through. The catchy guitar riffs, the thick bass-line, the rock organ, all have an old-school feel to them; something one can get used to.
Lyrically speaking, Jakob doesn’t write deep poetry but true-blue rock songs that complement the music. Thematically, the album juxtaposes women, God and America, with a feeling of disenchantment and cynicism.
So, to summarise, sometimes the way forward is to take a few steps back. And The Wallflowers have done just that. With no weak songs, it breezes through 40 minutes and makes you come back for more. This is definitely an album that will grow on you. My only (tiny) gripe is the lack of innovation. There seems to be little difference between this one and their previous album. This is a good album, but not a great one.
Bottomline: A must-buy for classic rock lovers.
Glad All Over; The Wallflowers, Columbia Records, Rs.159.