Red Letter Days
- Buy the CD
Reviewed by Red Rocker
Now, don't get me wrong. The music on Red Letter Days is squeaky clean, masterfully produced, and yet blatantly non-threatening. Rest assured, the wife will love this stuff. "I need a bed that nobody's slept in / I need some air nobody's been breathing," Dylan utters on the opener "When You're on Top," an instantaneous VH-1 fixture. This new record actually plays out like a microcosm of the Wallflowers' career itself. It has lustrous moments ("If You Never Got Sick" is striking!), forgettable pauses (the sleepy "See You When I Get There") and downright boggy halts ("Health and Happiness"). On the later, Dylan repeats ad nauseam, "I wish you health, I wish you happiness, but absolutely nothing else." How profound.
In a way, this latest offering from the Wallflowers, as well as their three previous, is like an old, familiar movie that you've seen countless times. When it's on TNT for the third time this weekend, you don't really need to see all two hours to enjoy it. You could even walk in halfway through and still pick up and enjoy the final hour. I doubt that these guys would ever release a truly bad album. But as long as they continue to avoid greatness by driving right down the middle of the road, Jakob Dylan will never know the longevity or discover the fabled staying power his old man has.