Has it really been over ten years since Hootie & the Blowfish burst onto the
music scene? The band that seemed to single handedly usher out the grunge era
and bring back fun, melodic pop/rock (along with Darius Rucker’s signature
growl) had the kind of major label debut (Cracked Rear View) that is
nearly impossible to top, selling over 13 million copies. Hootie never
duplicated that success, and has been floundering in oblivion for a while.
Either that, or living off the royalties from their debut.
And why is that? The problem is that they have been writing nothing more than
mediocre songs at best since then. But alas—the band’s first release on indie
label Vanguard, Looking for Lucky, shows some signs of the magic that
helped to launch them in the mid-nineties.
With driving guitars and Rucker’s voice, which sounds as strong as ever, “State
Your Peace” is one of the best Hootie songs in years. The groove-laden “Hey
Sister Pretty” and super-catchy “Get Out of My Mind” could both be the radio
hits that these guys and their A&R people have been looking for since 1995.
There are even some rootsy, Americana-flavored tracks on here, such as “Can I
See You,” “Leaving,” and the powerful ballad “Autumn Jones.” Unfortunately, that
type of sound is a nice diversion, but somehow makes this band sound like they
are all getting older, and we are all getting older with them. Or maybe it’s
just that Hootie & The Blowfish are at their best when they stay true to their
Whatever spin you want to put on Hootie & The Blowfish, one thing that can never
be argued is that they had one of the most successful debut albums in rock
history. That may have put them behind the 8-ball in subsequent endeavors, but
Looking For Lucky is easily the best album they have delivered since that